Jammu hospitals lack proper fumigation, operation theaters risk prone

Pardeep Singh Bali

Putting life of the patients in risk, unavailability of separate Operation Theatres for contagious diseases in Jammu hospitals are brewing ‘lethal infection’, which is further compounded by the absence of proper fumigation of existing theaters.
According to sources in the hospital, there are four operation theaters for general surgery at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC&H), which conduct 15-20 surgeries on an average in the day. “One can imagine the speed of the surgeries. One theater conducts 4-5 major surgeries in a day, five days a week. But in the name of fumigation, a basic phenyl is being used for sanitizing the Operation Theater that too after the last surgery,” said sources.
They added that the standard operation of sanitation is not followed in the hospital for fumigation and sanitation of the operation theaters, due to which patients become prone to infection. Castigating the hospital authorities of being apathetic towards hygiene in the operation theaters, especially when it comes to spread of contagious infection, sources said that after conducting operation of the patients suffering from contagious diseases including HIV, HVsAg and HCV, the operation theatre is kept closed for 12-14 hours.
“According to medical experts, the minimum duration of fumigation, after conducting surgery of patients suffering from communicable diseases, is 48-56 hours, but here in Jammu hospitals this time is not more than 12-14 hours,” said sources, adding that the virus and bacteria emanating from affected patient remains in the room for long time and to kill those virus and bacteria, proper fumigation is needed, but in Jammu hospitals, low-grade kit is used, which takes much time to act.
Moreover, a doctor in the hospital wishing anonymity said that the doctors carrying out the operation prepare themselves properly and when they come out, they do not bother about cleaning of the theatre. “It is moral duty of the doctors to ensure sanitization of the operation theaters before leaving it, as low rung staff hardly knows what kind of fumigation is to be done to kill bacteria and virus. In most of the cases mere wash with phenyl is considered as job done,” doctor said and added fumigation of hospital rooms with high concentrations of toxic chemicals has been proposed to reduce microbial agents on hospital surfaces and to control infections.
Meanwhile, decrying the allegations, Head of Surgery Department-Dr Sunil Gupta said that proper sanitation is being employed in operation theaters. Although we do not have separate operation theatre in the hospital, but we have reserved separate bed for such patients, who are suffering from communicable diseases,” Dr Gupta said and added in case of fumigation, after conducting last operation, the whole room is fumigated with special kit, which is available with the surgery stuff.
He said that the science has taken huge leaps, so it is not necessary that fumigation takes 48 hours. “The special sanitizing kits can kill the lethal bacteria and virus within three hours, but still to ensure safety of the patients, we take 12-14 hours,” he said and added if proper prevention is not being taken in the operation theatre, then doctors conducting surgery shall become the first prey to the infection, therefore proper prevention is ensured.

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