Cumilla resident Billal Hossain was brought to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) in a critical condition after being stabbed by an auto-rickshaw driver recently.
Initially, the farmer from Dighirpar in Bhangura area was taken to a local hospital. As his condition deteriorated, doctors referred him to DMCH. So the worried family members took him to the hospital’s One-stop Emergency Centre.
Billal needed prompt care and treatment.
The duty doctor tended to him right away and completed necessary tests such as X-ray and blood test at the emergency centre within shortest possible time.
Billal was then taken to the operation theatre (OT) and after a successful operation he was shifted to a ward.
The entire process was completed within two hours.
As the hospital was able to provide Billal with all the necessary medical tests and emergency services at the one-stop centre, it was possible to take him to the OT within such a short time, perform the surgery and thus save his life, said a doctor at the emergency.
The same happened with Shipon Miah. He was stabbed by muggers in the capital’s Uttarkhan area recently and was brought to DMCH, where he received prompt services at the emergency centre and was able to recover.
The abovementioned cases are not any isolated or special incident; rather it has become a common scene at the DMCH One-stop Emergency Centre, where patients are provided necessary tests and primary treatment right away -- all under one roof.
Patients are shifted to relevant wards once their condition becomes stable.
The emergency centre was launched on January 6 this year.
“Earlier, we would have to send a patient to a ward even if his or her condition was critical,” said Nasir Ahmed, office assistant of the admission section at DMCH.
“Before, all the tests like X-ray, blood and ultrasonography had to be done at the wards, which took around two hours to complete as patients had to travel to different corners of the hospital,” he added.
Now, Nasir said, it takes around 15 to 20 minutes to get admitted and complete the necessary pathological tests.
The centre is located in a five-storey building, also known as the “new building”, with an operation theatre on the second floor and post-anaesthesia care unit on the first.
The emergency centre has 15 beds, including four in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), six in High-Dependency Unit (HDU) and five observation beds, along with all diagnostic test equipment including CT scan, ECG, nebulisation, cardiac monitor, digital X-ray, ultrasonography, and a mini pathology laboratory.
There is also a five-bed casualty observation ward and a three-bed minor OT to treat patients of neuro-surgery and head injuries.
Earlier, patients often faced hassles as pathological and radiological tests (x-ray, radiography, ultrasound, CT scans, MRI etc) were done in separate units.
Radiological tests were conducted on the north side of the hospital, about 200 metres away from the emergency. Now, blood and pathology tests as well as blood typing and cross-matching can be conducted in the new building for emergency patients.
“Around 1,700 to 1,800 patients come to emergency unit every day. It was difficult for two medical officers and four emergency doctors to provide treatment to such a huge number of patients properly,” said Brig Gen AKM Nasir Uddin, director of DMCH.
“Considering the situation, DMCH authorities have taken an initiative to set up all the test equipment and bring all facilities under one roof, so that patients do not need to wander around. This kills time and worsens their condition,” he said.
The director said there are 40 doctors at the One-stop Emergency Centre, who are performing their duties in rotation and around 50 nurses are working round the clock.
“We are also trying to develop the emergency services further,” he added.
The director, however, said there is still a crisis of manpower and they could not start a children’s ward due to the shortage.
Still, emergency services at the hospital have improved significantly since they launched the centre, Nasir said.