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Health News of Thursday, 18 August 2016


Korle-Bu turns away pregnant women

The Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) has halted admission of emergency cases to the maternity ward, following the breakdown of the oxygen plant that serves the department.

The oxygen plant which is critical to emergency care at the department became faulty over the weekend, forcing management to stop the admission of emergency cases while the plant is being repaired.

This is just one of the problems facing the foremost referral hospital in the country.

However, the department is attending to normal pregnancy cases as the plant which is undergoing repairs can only cater for women with regular pregnancies.

Public Relations Officer (PRO) of KBTH, Mustapha Salifu, explaining the decision of the hospital, mentioned that Korle-Bu had to stop accepting emergency cases because management didn’t want to endanger their patients with peculiar circumstances.

Mr Salifu said as a result of the fault developed by the oxygen plant, management had also reduced the number of patients it admits. He added that KBTH had also begun referring emergency cases to other medical facilities in the metropolis.

“We needed to scale back operations so that we do not endanger the lives of our patients because we need oxygen in order to take care of patients in the theatre,” he told a local radio station.

The PRO mentioned that they needed oxygen in the labour ward as a medical intervention to assist the patients to deliver, thus, the inadequacy of the health commodity would endanger the lives of patients with emergency cases who may need more oxygen.

According to Mr Salifu, if they don’t get oxygen on a regular basis, then they will be knowingly endangering the lives of patients if the hospital goes ahead and admits them.

“And yet we do not have this critical component to see them that is why we started asking patients to go to other facilities within the metropolis,” he said.

This is the second time the hospital has experienced a breakdown of an oxygen plant this year.

In March this year, the hospital experienced a major breakdown, with its main oxygen plant which lasted for two weeks.

For the two week period that the plant was down, management had to spend huge sums of money to buy oxygen from external sources to meet its daily demand.

Oxygen therapy is the administration of oxygen as a medical intervention which can be for a variety of purposes in both chronic and acute patient care.

Oxygen therapy is used when low blood oxygen is present. Oxygen may be administered in various ways from a nasal cannula to hyperbaric oxygen inside a closed chamber.

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