Mugda hospital overwhelmed by dengue patients
The capital's Mugda Medical College Hospital has been struggling to cope with the steep rise in the number of dengue patients over the last few weeks.
The lone special dengue unit is currently accommodating 428 dengue patients at the 500-bed hospital, which is also treating 658 patients suffering from other diseases -- putting tremendous pressure on the staffers.
As a result, many dengue patients were seen receiving treatment on the floors and corridors, as the hospital ran out of beds. On the other hand, the authorities have even been struggling to offer basic patients' needs because the number of dengue cases has already surpassed it's capacity.
Abul Hossain, 64, a resident of Madartek area admitted six days ago, said, "When I was taken to the hospital, there was no bed available. I had to receive treatment on the floor.
"Throughout my five-day stay, I couldn't sleep well at nights and it'd be chaotic during the day. There was no fan at the spot I was lying on, nor any mosquito net…," he told The Daily Star.
Some 2,080 dengue patients are currently being treated at hospitals across the capital, while three more deaths were reported in the 24 hours till yesterday morning -- taking the fatalities to 76 this year.
One of those deaths was reported from Mugda hospital.
Around 5:00am yesterday, six-month-old Mustafizur Rahman was rushed to the hospital after suffering convulsions. By 9:00am, the doctors declared him dead.
"My only son, who brought us immeasurable joy, has left us all alone," said his mother Mukta Akhter while howling inconsolably.
His shell-shocked father remained speechless and stared at his infant's motionless body.
SITUATION AT MUGDA HOSPITAL
The hospital is using three floors to treat dengue patients.
Female patients were being treated on the third floor, children on the eighth, and males on the 10th.
During a visit to the hospital yesterday, this correspondent found that most of the patients were on the floor due to space constraints, and some of the attendants were seen using hand fans to shield the patients from the heat.
Mohammad Rafique, 35, and his wife were seen feeding their five-year-old son, Mohammad Yeasin, who was admitted two days ago with dengue fever, on the floor.
"We requested the nurses for a mosquito net, and they provided one. But there is nothing to hang it from. We informed the staffers but they are yet to come up with a solution," Rafique said.
Md Babul Hossain, 50, a patient from the capital's Dhalpur, alleged misconduct by the hospital employees.
"When I feel unwell and call for the nurses' assistance, they respond with irritation. In some cases, they dismiss our calls. A few of them even misbehave."
He also complained of inadequate toilet facilities for such a large number of patients.
"In the morning, long queues are formed in front of the toilets. Considering that some patients may have diarrhoea due to the disease, the distress they face while waiting in line must be unimaginable."
WHAT AUTHORITIES SAY
Regarding the allegations, Prof Md Niyatuzzaman, acting director of Mugda Medical College Hospital, said, "We have supplied mosquito nets to every patient and installed ropes for hanging them. However, we were unable to install fans throughout all the floors as there are some infrastructural limitations."
About misconduct, he said the increasing number of patients has put immense pressure on the nurses and other staffers alike, leading to misunderstandings between them and the attendants.
"We only have 30 nurses for 428 dengue patients and so it is quite obvious that they may feel exhausted," Niyatuzzaman said.
To cope with the deluge of patients, he said, they are preparing 12 ICU beds to add to the existing 40.