Of the 88 deaths of positive patients, 43 died within 24 hours of being brought in and another four were brought dead. 79 out of the 88 had comorbid conditions.
“Even the best centres in the world be it USA, Spain, etc, nobody can save patients. Those who died within 24 hours means they have come in such an advanced stage when saving them becomes difficult. But these patients have also received everything – Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, high nasal oxygen, ventilation, etc, and yet they have died. 50% have come in late and died within 24 hours. Of these patients, 18 received plasma,” he said.
At the ESI hospital, out of the 115 deaths, 102 patients had comorbid conditions. 14 out of 115 patients died within 24 hours of being admitted there.
“Most patients who came to ESI already spent a week at home and they got very severe lung disease and landed up in hospital. We have treated them for 10 to 12 days, and despite that we lost them because at times when there is a cytokine storm nobody can do anything with these patients,” he said.
Majority of the patients who succumbed had chronic renal failure, hypertension or Ischemic heart disease and died because they had comorbidities, Bandekar said.
Health minister Vishwajit Rane appealed to people not to hide the disease, saying several such cases have been brought in late. “A lot of people come in with breathlessness after five to ten days. At the last stage, it is difficult to administer treatment. We are unable to save their lives. Patients in home isolation shouldn’t hide it from anybody. You need to approach the health officer/doctor if you have any symptoms. We find aged persons also being brought in at a late stage,” Rane said
The issue of shortage of beds arises because most patients who are symptomatic or moderately symptomatic have to be admitted for at least 15 days. “We can’t send them home. We have incidents of patients who have gone home and got into complications. Doctors are also taking care of patients comorbidities, he said.
“There was a feeling that comorbid conditions are not being taken care of. This is not true. Many times we have to stop a diabetic’s tablet and start them on insulin instead, but the patient feels that we are not giving them the tablets. We sometimes have to alter the dosage of tablets,” Bandekar said. “It’s not that we’re not treating them. We’re also treating patients with HIV, cancer, kidney disease, liver disease, alcoholism. We have expert teams working with patients very closely,” he said.
Bandekar while comparing last year’s death statistics said the death rate has not risen because of Covid, rather deaths have occurred due to severity of comorbid conditions.