Not enough beds at PIMS Burn Care Centre


THE Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Burn Care Centre (BCC) has only 20-bed capacity whereas 20 to 30 patients visit the centre daily. The PIMS burn centre is the first facility of its kind in the public sector in accordance with the latest International standards to treat acute burn cases.
As it is the only latest burn centre across the country, the burden of patients is very much here, which results in space shortage and increases mortality level.
There are inadequate facilities for the management of burn patients in other public and private sector hospitals. Established under the defence budget, there is a burn centre at CMH Kharian where army personnel and their families or very rich people can have access. NESCOM burn centre in Islamabad is another ray of hope, but it has only four beds. There is another burn centre at POF Wah whose most of the beneficiaries are defence personnel or a few others who can afford heavy expenses. Thus all major burn patients have to consult the doctors at PIMS.
The burn case treatment is very expensive as medicines for these patients can cost from Rs 4,000 to Rs 12,000 per day, depending upon the burn percentage. During a recent visit to PIMS burn centre, this scribe observed that there were only two special burn beds for serious patients and, according to its staff, on that very day they received a large number of burn victims affected by a bomb blast in Peshawar.
The nurses of the burn centre, talking to the scribe, said mortality rate of burn patients from Abbotabad, Peshawar, Multan and Azad Kashmir was quite high as when they reached PIMS very late. If they were provided with the same facility in their cities, mortality rate could be reduced, they added.
The PIMS burn centre doesn’t have the absorburn and sorbait dressings at its dispensary, which are used for major burn patients as they are very expensive and affording patients purchase them from the open market. These dressings cost Rs 10,000 each while 10 patches are used at one time.
It is worth mentioning here that burn victims’ mortality rate in Pakistan far higher as compared with other countries. For instance, according to official statements, in our country mortality rate of a major burn case i.e. 40 to 50 percent body surface is 86 percent whereas it is less than 20 percent in the developed world.
When contacted, Dr Tariq Iqbal, assistant professor and head of the PIMS burn centre, said that data available before the start of the centre reflected overall mortality rate for major burn was more than 90 percent in public sector hospitals of Pakistan and greater than 50 percent in different burn centers because they were not that equipped so as a result all burden of major burns came to PIMS burn center.
He said, “This burn center is built for the people of Islamabad and adjoining areas but due to inadequate facilities at different burn centers in Pakistan we receive major burn victims of bomb blasts and others from all over the country so this is not possible for us to accommodate patients out of our capacity.”
Dr. Tariq said that acute burn patients required specialized intensive care by trained technical staff and needed germ free environment with monitoring and ventilator equipments. “Controlled temperature and humidity are also the basic requirements; therefore it is a sensitive job to handle,” he said. He said that government should build such burn centers for people all over the country so the burden of patients at PIMS burn center could be decreased.