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Lack of Anesthesiologist Slows Management of COVID-119 Patients at Jinja Hospital

“These two part-time anesthesiologists only show up to check on patients who fail to stabilize in a period of three days and when their situations are so complicated for us to handle, but the rest of the cases are being managed by the nurses throughout their admission at the ICU,” she says.
A nurse attending to a covid19 patient at the Jinja regional hospital intensive care unit on Tuesday.

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The absence of a substantive anesthesiologist is hampering the treatment of COVID-19 patients in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit-ICU of Jinja Regional Referral Hospital. Only three of the 12 beds in the intensive care unit are to care treat patients in need of critical care.    However, currently, the hospital relies on two part-time visiting anesthesiologists and medical interns to support the operations of the ICU. A nurse in ICU told URN on condition of anonymity that the two visiting anesthesiologists are only available to handle complicated cases.  

“These two part-time anesthesiologists only show up to check on patients who fail to stabilize in a period of three days and when their situations are so complicated for us to handle, but the rest of the cases are being managed by the nurses throughout their admission at the ICU,” she says. 

The hospital director, Florence Tugumisirize says that the hospital’s anesthesiologist left after securing a better paying job abroad. She, however, says that during his stay at the hospital, he trained various staff who have since been contracted to do the job as they wait for the Ministry of Health to allocate them a full-time anesthesiologist mandated with handling severe Covid-19 cases and other critically ill patients.  

Tugumisirize says that they have been receiving support in ICU from interns who have been released because of the presidential directive closing all learning institutions for 42 days as part of the COVID-19 containment measures.

  //Cue in: “our anesthesiologist left… 

 

Cue out…permanently for Jinja,”//  

Anesthesiologists help to put patients to rest and control pain during surgical procedures.

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