Over 500 patients discharged from PIC after attack

LAHORE: The Punjab Institute of Cardiology wore a deserted look as the institute discharged over 500 heart patients admitted to its various wards, including the emergency unit, shortly after the attack of lawyers on the facility.
According to officials, some of the patients were referred to other health facilities following health complications, while various others had left the PIC themselves to avoid any untoward incident when scores of charged lawyers forced their entry into the institute.
In a related development, PIC Medical Superintendent Dr Mohammad Ameer, in his report sent to the Punjab government, has said the institute also suffered massive damage to its medical/surgical equipment during the lawyers attack.
In the report, the MS, however, didn’t mention injury to any doctor, paramedic, security guard or other employee of the hospital at the hands of attacking lawyers.
Available with Dawn, the report also missed the exact cost assessment of the loss the institute suffered during the attack.
The most disturbing part of this development was the sufferings of the patients which increased manifold when the PIC was completely closed down for the first time since its establishment in 1989 by the admin “for repairs”.
An official privy to the information said that as many as 580 patients were admit to the cardiac facility at the time the attack by lawyers who also stormed its various units, including the emergency ward.
He said as the attackers were carrying clubs and bricks and damaging PIC infrastructure, the attendants of many patients themselves dragged their beds out of the health facility. Many of theses patients were admitted to the institute’s emergency ward, he said, adding that some of the patients were immediately rushed to nearby private hospitals to save their lives.
Some two hours after the incident, the hospital management and the faculty unanimously decided to discharge the patients.
Consequently, the official said, approximately 500 patients were discharged from indoor wards and as many as 150 procedures of different types had to be postponed.
Presently, he said, some patients were still under treatment at the intensive care unit (ICU) and cardiac care unit (CCU) of the institute given their highly critical condition.
As these patients were unable to move and any attempt to shift them might prove fatal, the doctors preferred to keep them at the intensive and cardiac care units, he said.
To a question, he said, it was yet to be confirmed whether the patients had been referred to the other government health facilities or not.
Of the 150 postponed procedures, 50 were of implantation of cardiac stents, 100 of angiography, and 12 of bypass surgery, the official said.
“No one knows where these patients have gone and what has happened to them”, he said. The official further said that more than 1,400 patients were visiting the OPD and 1,000 emergency ward of this hospital daily. Most of them were the deserving and poor patients, he said, adding they were getting adequate services, including adult cardiology, paediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery at the institute.
On the other hand, the MS report stated that 10 cardiac monitors, four echo machines and three ventilators were also among the medical equipment damaged by the lawyers.
Similarly, the report said, the attackers partially damaged 16 vehicles, mostly cars, parked on the PIC premises, windowpanes and doors of the main hall, pharmacy store, room of the additional medical superintendent, emergency unit and of various indoor wards.
The report was sent to the Punjab government through health department.