Emergency surgeries only at South hospital
Saturday, January 26 2013
Only emergency surgeries will be performed at the San Fernando General Hospital due to the shortage of a surgical drug.
The order was issued on Thursday by the hospital’s Acting Medical Director Dr Pravinde Ramoutar to all senior doctors and other medical officers including the nursing manager and hospital administrator.
Newsday obtained a copy of an internal memo which stated that, “All surgeries at the San Fernando General Hospital have been cancelled due to what it called “the severe shortage of Neostigmine”.
The memo to doctors added, “We are forced to go on emergency mode in theatres effective Friday, 25th January, 2013 until a supply is provided.”
The memo added that, “As such, all theatres with the exception of the emergency theatre will be closed until further notice.”
Contacted on the situation, Acting CEO of the South West Regional Health Authority Anil Gosine said Neostigmine is a drug used in surgeries, but not in all surgeries.
Gosine said the hospital got some supplies yesterday and were able to complete 36 surgeries. “No surgeries were cancelled,” he assured.
He said over the weekend only emergency surgeries will be done.
Gosine said the shortage of the drug was not due to any failure on the part of the SWRHA. He said Nipdec, which supplies drugs through a contract with the Ministry of Health, advised there was worldwide shortage of Neostigmine.
According to Wikipedia, Neostigmine “is used routinely in anaesthesia to reverse the effects of non-depolarising muscle relaxants such as rocuronium and vecuronium at the end of an operation”.
He said all regional health authorities may have to adjust their surgical schedules but noted the SWRHA will be the hardest hit since it performs at least 36 surgeries a day more than any other hospital in the country.