A few days ago, a young COVID-19 patient in south Kashmir’s Shopian district was suggested to conduct a chest CT-scan by doctors at District Hospital Shopian after his blood oxygen levels began to plummet.
The patient found himself caught in a tight corner as the facility was not available at the hospital.
His family soon rushed him to the neighbouring Pulwama district and got the procedure done.
The scan revealed bilateral pneumonia and the patient was put on oxygen.
The District Hospital Shopian is operating without the crucial CT scan facility and a radiologist, forcing doctors to refer the patients to other hospitals, mostly in Srinagar.
During the ongoing pandemic, the CT scans have assumed much significance as the imaging of the chest gives the medics a clear idea about the effect of the baffling virus on the lungs.
“We also prescribe a CT scan when, some times, the COVID-19 test returns negative despite the patient having distressing respiratory complications,” a doctor said.
As the graph of COVID-19 cases has been shooting up in the district for the past three weeks, many patients showing severe symptoms have been recommended to conduct CT scans.
“The patients usually have to make a dash for private labs in Srinagar to get the procedure done,” said an official at District Hospital Shopian, adding that the procedure was not being done in any private lab in the area.
“The private labs charge between Rs 2500 to Rs 3000, which is not affordable for many poor patients,” said the official.
He said that some times the mortality rate shoots up as the patients fail to conduct all the recommended tests for better treatment.
Peeved at the absence of the facility, a group of locals said that it was rather unfortunate that a district hospital was without such crucial facilities.
“We appeal the administration to immediately equip the hospital with all such crucial facilities,” they said.