Patients at the Government Tiruvarur Medical College in Tamil Nadu allege that puddles of water have continued to stagnate in the dialysis units of the hospital for the past five days due to an unattended leak from a tank.
The stagnant water in the ward emanates an unbearable stench and could likely result in skin infection, patients claimed, adding that despite complaints, the management has not taken efforts to stop the water leak.
More than 30 patients come to the ward for dialysis every day and more than 200 patients are dependent on the hospital to frequently undergo dialysis.
“There are 20 machines in the dialysis ward of the hospital, of which only 15 machines are functional. The water leak creates an unbearable smell and I also start itching whenever I step on the stagnant water. The water is unclean and it is creating an extremely unhygienic condition in the wards,” a patient alleged.
“The sanitation staff are cleaning the place but the water continues to leak, flooding the ward all over again. I come here for three days a week to undergo dialysis but I do not see the issue getting solved. The unclean water also poses a risk to our health condition,” he added.
Pointing out that they had co-morbidities and hence were more vulnerable to the coronavirus, the patients demanded that the hospital management fix the leakage.
“We want the Reverse Osmosis (RO) motor in the dialysis units to be fixed by hospital authorities. The water from the dialysis unit just stops in the middle of treatment, creating a risky situation for us. If the dialysis machine stops, then it creates breathlessness and we should be given treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). So, the hospital should ensure the flow of water in dialysis units,” one patient said.
Speaking to TNM, Dean of the hospital, Muthukumaran, said, “There was a leak from a tank but the Public Works Department (PWD) has rectified the problem. The water started to leak on Sunday but since it was a complete lockdown, PWD workers could not come and work. However, on Monday, they came and they have almost finished the work.”
On the malfunctioning of dialysis units, the Dean said, “The hospital has 20 dialysis units. In this, 16 units function properly but four units are slightly faulty. I informed the technician and he immediately rectified the problems in the four units. The dialysis units get faulty since the membrane gets blocked. This is a common problem everywhere and we have a technician to look into the issue every now and then.”