New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday inaugurated the newly-constructed Burns and Plastic Surgery Block at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and dedicated it to the 'Father of Plastic Surgery' - ancient Indian physician Sushruta.
"Due to the large population, most of the burn care facilities are overburdened and state-of-the-art burn care is negligible. There is a dire need for a healthcare facility which can provide high quality care for a large fraction of the population," the Health Minister said following the launch.
Burn injury is one of the biggest causes of workforce loss and an issue of concern for a rapidly developing economy like India. India has as many as 70 lakh burn injuries annually with mortality rate as high as 1.4 lakh per year and an additional 2.4 lakh patients end up with severe deformities.
Harsh Vardhan added that this initiative will bridge the gap between this need and availability. "Burns and Plastic Surgery Block has three goals. The first is to reduce the number of deaths due to burns. The present death toll of 1.4 lakh a year due to burns is not a happy situation."
The most important determinant of death in burn patients is infection. This facility has individual cubicles in ICU for 30 patients and 10 private isolation beds to prevent any cross infection. Second, by adhering to standard protocols the institution will be able to reduce the number of people who will end up with deformities.
The third is to bring down the costs since management of burns involve direct and indirect costs. Direct cost comprises what is spent on medical care, and indirect cost is the economic impact due to loss of jobs, loss of wages, loss of productivity and loss of training, the minister said.
He further added, "This block is equipped to deal with approximately 15,000 burn emergencies and 5,000 burn admissions a year. It can deal with mass casualties efficiently by converting the patient receiving area itself into an emergency ward as per need. Integration of the block with the trauma centre will provide easy assistance to the trauma team in no time."
Dr Maneesh Singhal, Professor and Head, Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Burns Surgery said, "Every facility was available in the AIIMS except the burn injuries centre. Now, we will be able to actively treat the burn injuries patients."
He further said that the block has 30 ICU beds with separate cubicles, 60 general beds and 10 private wards. There are six operation theatres stationed on two floors. Besides this, there are six emergency beds, which can be increased to 20 beds in any untoward situation.
"There is ventilation, air conditioning and 100 per cent fresh air to stop any chances of cross-infection. Special focus has been put on infection control. Secondly, it is a green building. Technology has been used to make sure that there is less environmental harm. It is a state-of-the-art facility," said Vijaydeep Siddharth, Associate Professor and Project Officer for Burns and Plastic Surgery.