Chiang Mai asks for donations while Bangkok faces ICU bed shortage

A CHIANG MAI professor today (April 23) called for donations to buy equipment for two hospitals while Bangkok faces a shortage of ICU beds in seven to eight days’ time if daily Covid count stays at 1,500, Thai Rath newspaper and said this afternoon.

Dr Rangsarit Karnjanavanich, who is also an environmentalist, said Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai and Nakornping hospitals need advanced protective clothing and Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) because those available are starting to get damaged through heavy use.

These gowns and PAPR kits are needed to protect health care workers from infection. PAPR kits cost 48,000 baht each and donors would not have to pay tax.

He added that so far there were around 3,000 Covid patients in Chiang Mai in the current wave of outbreak that appears likely to spread further.

While the number of medical personnel has not increase, the number of patients is doing so.

Donations to Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital can be made through Suan Dok Hospital Foundation’s  Siam Commercial Bank account number 566-404844-0.  Call 0-5393-8400 for more information.

Donors can either put money in Nakhon Ping Hospital’s donation boxes or give it to the finance department,  telephone number 0-5399-9200 ext. 2233. Another option is to  deposit it in hospital’s  Krung Thai Bank, Mae Rim branch, savings account number 515-0-48652-3.

Dr Rangsarit urged those who are infected and were still waiting to be hospitalised to isolate themselves at home while doing so.

Meanwhile Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman of Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said today’s meeting discussed looming shortage of ICU beds in Bangkok as what is available is only sufficient for the next seven to eight days at daily Covid count of 1,500 cases.

Dr. Kiattaphum Wongrajit, Public Health Ministry’s permanent secretary, briefed the meeting about this issue and forecast the following:

– There are 262 ICU beds, 193 are in use and 69 available;

– There 479 beds in separate negative pressure chambers, 410 are in use and 69 available.

The meeting made following forecast on the premises of 1,500 Covid cases a day:

– Whole country: 52 ICU beds used per day, adequate supply for the next 19 days;

– Bangkok: 12-13 ICU beds used per day, expected to have enough beds for only the next six to eight days.

The Public Health Ministry is quickly addressing the problem in Bangkok in coordination with many sectors because of the very short time remaining. One option is to add beds in ICU wards or increase ICU space while another possibility is to set up ICU field hospitals but this would be problematic.


Top: A room in the ICU ward of a hospital. Photo: Thai Rath


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