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July 10, 2020

HMC takes lead in handling coronavirus pandemic professionally

Peshawar

July 10, 2020

PESHAWAR: In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) is stated to be the first public sector hospital that didn’t wait for the government and initiated efforts to professionally handle the Covid-19 pandemic and now become the first tertiary care hospital to make a post-covid plan and resume elective services.

Also, keeping in view the official data of covid patients, there is a decline noted in the number of patients being reported and taken to the hospitals in KP for health complications related to covid. It seems the HMC administration had already predicted the situation and that’s why prepared itself for the challenge and collected adequate stuff required in combating the covid pandemic. Before the pandemic, nobody had even heard about the personal protection equipment (PPE) but the HMC administration led by its dynamic medical director, Prof Shehzad Akbar, had arranged a large quantity of cloth and hired tailors in addition to HMC’s own tailors to prepare PPEs and better equip its staff. It was stated to be a timely decision as HMC had enough PPE and face masks when doctors in the other public sector hospitals were refusing to handle the covid patients for lack of protective measures to them. In KP, the first covid patient was reported on March 16 and by March 19, HMC had received the covid patients. And it emerged the first public sector hospital in KP that established its own laboratory and initiated corona investigations and is still conducting tests of all its patients.

In KP, the Khyber Medical University (KMU) had first started corona testing when Chief Secretary Kazim Niaz first visited the university and arranged them a huge amount to procure the machine and kits. The hospital administration formed a number of committees, including steering of covid crisis (command and control) in which the medical director took the leading role in planning, organising and coordinating all efforts made to handle the pandemic. Then there were covid surveillance committee, led by Prof Dr Usman Khattak of Medicine Department, clinical guidelines committee, chaired by Prof Dr Mohammad Noor Wazir, and corona combat team, and all the committees and the members were assigned different tasks. The doctors in HMC worked as a team to professionally deal with patients brought to them with covid complications, though initially, some people there were reluctant to handle the covid patients, saying it was not their speciality.

Right from Prof Dr Shehzad Akbar to each and every member of the hospital showed a commitment to serve patients. Some people including Prof Dr Noor Wazir, who handled the intensive care unit (ICU), where covid patients were taken care of their serious complications, Dean KGMC, Prof Dr Zahid Aman, Hospital Director Dr Shehzad Faisal, Pathology Department head Prof Shahtaj Khan, Prof Dr Sheraz Jamal, Dr Ahmad Shah, secretary to the Board of Governors, Aqeel Khan and many other unsung heroes played a pivotal role in the corona pandemic. HMC is the only place where everybody is giving the credit to their fellow colleagues for their good work. For example, the faculty is praising Prof Dr Shehzad Akbar for his commitment and working with his colleagues as team. And Prof Dr Shehzad is giving the credit to his colleagues and the BoG, particularly its chairman Sahibzada Mohammad Saeed. It was due to the teamwork and standard operating procedures (SOPs) that helped prevent the faculty members and other staff from contracting the viral infection. Only patients with strong corona symptoms were admitted, handled by specialised staff, and had established different zones in the triage area to better screen the covid patients. The hospital had dedicated its maximum space to the covid patients, including all private rooms, Medical A and C ward, Orthopaedic A and B ward, Surgical C ward and Maxillofacial ward and 18-bed ICU with ventilators. It was apparently due to these better services, that most of covid patients, particularly politicians, government officials as well as members of the medical community preferred HMC for their treatment. All dignitaries including Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Governor Shah Farman and National Disaster Management Authority chief Lt-Gen Muhammad Afzal visited the HMC whenever they wanted to see the preparations of KP government for dealing with the covid patients.

During the pandemic, HMC received 111,000 patients, 37,000 were handled at the red zone area, and 7000 of them were tested. Of 7000 patients, 3500 were tested positive for covid in which 1154 patients came to the hospital and admitted for having serious complications. Of them, 985 patients recovered and returned home, 160 died of the infectious disease while 120 patients are still under treatment. A decline has been noted in covid patients for the past few days in KP.

On May 15, which was the spike period after the rise in patients was noted soon after Eidul Fitr, HMC had 60 indoor patients, LRH 40, KTH 20. During the spike period, as per the statistics, KTH had overtaken LRH, KP’s largest and oldest public sector hospital. According to July 7 data, HMC was having 110 indoor patients, KTH 52, LRH 46, and MMC 18 and Ayub Medical Complex in Abbottabad 37 patients. Also, there is a considerable amount of decline in the number of patients on a ventilator. As per of July 7 data, KTH was having 17 patients on a ventilator, LRH 12, which has the largest ICU in KP, HMC 22, MMC 6, and there was no patient on a ventilator in the Ayub Medical Complex Abbottabad.

The HMC also emerged in the first public sector hospital in KP that initiated convalescent plasma therapy on its premises on trial basis, even before Punjab.

The first plasma donors were the HMC employees, including a faculty member and a class-IV worker. Up to 150 patients have donated their plasmas so far of whom 60 per cent had recovered.