Services at the Coast Provincial General Hospital (CPGH)’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) got a boost following the opening of an ultra-modern 12-bed ICU after installation of additional six ICU beds.
The hospital also received a separate three-bed High Dependency Unit (HDU) through the Government’s Managed Equipment Services (MES) project.
The latest development, physicians at CPGH say, has bolstered the facility’s ICU bed capacity to 12 making it the largest ICU facility in the entire Coast region.
The unit which initially grappled with a limited six-bed ICU has since been renovated into a stated is fully equipped to provide high level critical care to adults and newborns alike.
During the 100-day doctors strike that paralysed Country’s health system, inadequacy of ICU facilities was among the top concerns of the doctors at the Coast as they clamored for improve pay and working standards.
According to Dr Zaheer Bagha, Physician in charge of the ICU, with the boosted capacity, the facility is now adequate enough to handle the pressure of ICU patients, unlike in the past when inadequacy of ICU beds would hinder services at the facility.
He says it can also handle post-operative care for complex neurological and cardio-thoracic surgeries.
“With the capacity, this is adequate enough to cater for a good number of patients who require these critical care services…So far this is the largest ICU facility in this region… If you compare with other hospitals around including the high cost hospitals most of them have a maximum of four or five ICU beds,” said Dr Bagha during an exclusive interview with People Daily at the facility yesterday.
With the improved services, the Physician said now adult and pediatric patients seeking the ICU services can be handled separately as the unit is divided into 10 beds for adult patients and another separate for two beds for pediatric patients.
“Amongst the eight adult beds we have one room which is for isolation which purposefully to prevent transmission of infectious disease to other patients…we also have a three-bed separate unit called High Dependency Unit (HDU) which is used when we admit patients who require close monitoring but do not require ventilator support because they are not put on a machine,” explained the doctor CPGH receives referrals from across all other five Counties in the region.
He explained further that patients on ICU who require other services like dialysis can now get them within the unit without necessarily having to go out of the ICU.
“At the moment we have two of the ICU beds which can handle patients requiring dialysis beside the ICU services,” he told People Daily.
However, the expansion of the unit has come with demand for more ICU nursing staff as now the unit operates at a total of 22 nurses which is on a lower side compared to the required number of over 30 nurses.
“Since the ICU has been expanded and we have more than 10 beds, we actually need more than 30 nurses to be able to take care of the patients effectively… Currently we have just 22 nurses who are not adequate for efficiency of the unit. That is the challenge we are having and the administration is aware,” said the ICU Patron Mary Liboi.
According to Dr Bagha, the County has already advertised for the vacancies of nurses to improve the number of nurses to required capacity.
The take-off of the National Government’s ambitious Sh38 billion MES project which was aimed at improving access to quality healthcare, dragged in most parts of Coast region following the delay in arrival of most of the equipment under the project since the planned was unveiled in 2013.