As the cases of deadly Black Fungus are rising in Bihar, the hospitals are facing an acute shortage of beds and injections. The state government has confirmed that there are 400 cases of Black Fungus (Mucormycosis), and until now 39 people have succumbed to the infection.
The patients are primarily being treated at two hospitals, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna and Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), while the other two hospitals -- Patna Medical College & Hospital (PMCH) and Nalanda Medical College & Hospital (NMCH) -- lack equipment to conduct the surgery.
As the situation worsens in the state, most of the patients are heading to AIIMS and IIGMS for treatment. The two hospitals have 260 beds but not enough to accommodate all the patients, and the doctors are forced to leave them in the lurch, reported NDTV.
It is not just that the hospitals are grappling with a shortage of beds, the doctors are facing the scarcity of Liposomal Amphotericin B, a key drug for treating the deadly disease. "All the Black Fungus cases at the hospital are very severe, and around 50 per cent of patients' brain has been affected," Dr Kranti Bhavna, Additional Professor AIIMS-Patna," told the media.
Bhavana said more than 50 per cent of patients already had damaged organs and required surgery and the drug. But the situation is out of their hands if there's a scarcity of medicines. "As a doctor, I feel bad that at the end of the day it is a medical problem, and even if I operate, I don't have the drug, what will happen?" the doctor was quoted as saying.
Superintendent of IGIMS, Dr Manish Mandal, informed that they hadn't faced any shortage of beds so far, but medicines. However, they have gradually started receiving medicines.
The 500 vials that the hospital received recently were used within a week to treat 100 patients, as each patient required five vials of the drug. "The injection is not available in the market, and as a result, treatment of Mucormycosis patients has been disrupted," a senior doctor informed.
The disease has spread like wildfire in Bihar's rural areas, which has added to the woes. Reportedly, the state government is in denial of the on-ground situation and said they are prioritising the medicine procurement and that all patients are being administered the drug without any charge.
"As soon as the spike in Black Fungus cases were reported on May 12 or 13, the state immediately issued an order and medicines were dispersed to hospitals within two days," Health Minister Mangal Pandey told NDTV.