11 July 2024

The Busarakham field hospital, which has admitted more than 14,200 COVID-19 patients since its opening in mid-May, opened its first intensive care unit (ICU) today (Wednesday), to treat severe cases waiting to be admitted to general hospitals.

Assistant permanent secretary of public health Dr. Kittisak Aksornwong said today that the opening of the facility, in the car park behind the field hospital at IMPACT Convention Centre, Muang Thong Thani, will help solve the problem of severe cases in the field hospital, who need to be transferred to general hospitals which are better equipped, but are having to wait due to bed shortages.

The ICU has 17 beds, 13 of which are for ICU patients, and 4 negative pressure rooms, with all the equipment provided by the National Research Institute.

Dr. Kittisak said that medical specialists from provincial hospitals will rotate through the field hospital, to help ease the workload of the permanent medical staff.

Of all the patients admitted to the hospital in the 82 days since its opening, over 11,000 have recovered and been discharged, leaving 3,333 others now undergoing treatment. Of these, 169 need high flow oxygen machines, while 450 need standard supplemental oxygen, said Dr. Kittisak, adding that the number of patients requiring oxygen has dropped.

He also said that the hospital has adopted a fast-track approach to the admission process, by separating frail patients from those who are healthier and conducting blood tests and medication distribution on admission, adding that cleaning of the hospital will be done more frequently.