A hospital in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla district has started using an innovative method inspired by other countries to collect swabs from suspected Covid-19 patients.
The facility was started only two days ago at the hospital affiliated with the Government Medical College in Baramulla and doctors and virologists have already collected 45 samples from suspected patients.
A small aluminium and glass cubicle is used by a trained doctor or virologists to collect the swabs from the suspected Covid-19 patients in the open air rather than inside a laboratory.
Dr Masood, the hospital’s medical superintendent, said the new testing method was adopted after they saw some of their peers doing the same in other countries.
“For the safety of our staff, it was mandatory to devise a new technique for the collection of swabs as while collecting the samples, the doctors and paramedics are at the most risk,’’ Masood said while speaking with HT.
He added that after looking at the design of the collection cubicle in other countries, the doctors got the plan and then a cubicle was made at the local level using aluminium and glass which keeps doctors and virologists at an arm’s length from the Covid-19 patients and
“Thankfully, it has been a success,” he said.
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Medical superintendent Masood said that doctors and paramedics are taking special care and precautions.
“We have 18 Covid-19 patients admitted in the hospital and other 19 are under isolation. This new technique of collection of swabs will help us saving doctors and paramedics and also the PPEs,” he said.
He said that they have decided to collect swabs in the open at an isolated place within the hospital premises as it is more secure there than taking swabs inside any room.
“Our main focus is to go for innovative things. We just saw the design on social media and got it prepared at the local level and fortunately it’s working,’’ he said adding that hospital is the only health institute in entire J&K to use this method.
“Hope others will follow for the safety of doctors and paramedics.”
Baramulla is one of the biggest centres in the Valley where Covid-19 patients are admitted.
But the hospital is not designated as a separate Covid-19 hospital and other surgeries and patient care is also being conducted posing risk to other patients and attendants there.
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“The government should either dedicate this hospital as an exclusive Covid-19 hospital or designate any other neighbouring hospital as Covid-19 hospital and god forbid if one doctor or paramedic turns positive this hospital which caters to the entire north Kashmir will get defunct,’’ said a senior doctor.
Only a year ago, the Baramulla hospital was attached to the medical college and has the infrastructure of that of a district hospital.
Jammu and Kashmir has reported 125 coronavirus disease cases and three deaths—two from Baramulla district and one from Bandipore. There are 11 areas which have been declared as containment zones in Kashmir.
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