THE prevailing COVID-19 pandemic has exerted pressure on the country’s biggest referral hospital’s admission capacity amidst indications that the institution is running out of beds to admit new patients, an audit report of the facility for the period July 1 to July 24 2020 has revealed
By Michael Gwarisa
The beds shortage also comes at a time the country is battling a COVID-19 pandemic which has already claimed 104 lives and infected 4649 in Zimbabwe.
The audit report which was conducted by Parirenyatwa Hospital’s Clinical Team which comprised of Doctors Trevor Chivandire, Percy Chikide, Katharina Kranzer and Rashida Ferrand gathered that the facility is facing a myriad of challenges which could hinder the fight against COVID-19.
There is extreme shortage of staff and it is not possible to achieve the level of monitoring of patients required. The number of admissions has been rising substantially yet there are not enough beds,” said the audit report.
The hospital has a total 1200 beds while the Covid-19 red zone has 425 beds. However, due to prevailing industrial action which has seen majority of medical and hospital staff downing tools, the report added that admissions and work around COVID-19 patients was now confined to 30 beds due to lack of staff.
According to the report however, the hospital is also getting pressure from treating patients who don’t have COVID19 (disease) and are only COV-2 positive (and parent with another health problem) because many health facilities were unwilling to treat patients who are COV2 positive.
“The hospital is also facing drug shortages- even of essential drugs (heparin, morphine, diazepam, 5% dextrose, insulin). There is need for basic equipment to optimally manage patients-eg insulin syringe pumps, monitoring equipment (glucometers, pulse oximeters). There is also delay in collection of deceased patients & returning bodies to bereaved relatives.”
The institution according to report is still experiencing challenges with getting portable Chest X-rays and blood tests (fear of contact with “red Zone” and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supply is limited.
However, all hope is not lost for the facility according to the report as Parirenyatwa has recorded some successes in their fight against the coronavirus due to availability of piped oxygen, dedicated and committed junior doctors and an excellent response to treatment in majority of patients
“ It is possible to increase capacity if there was more staff. Currently restricted to 30 beds due to lack of staff. It is possible to provide non-invasive ventilatory support (CPAP and HFNC) on the wards (if consumables made available).