Poor patients to benefit from modified ECT: expert

first_imgThe City Hospital in Berhampur is the only government medical institution in Odisha where Modified Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) is being administered to mentally ill patients instead of conventional ECT, which at times is a painful process.The Mental Healthcare Bill, 2016, which was passed by the Lok Sabha on March 27, makes direct administration of ECT without anaesthesia illegal. As per the new Bill, ECT can only be administered to a patient with use of muscle relaxants and anaesthesia, which is called Modified ECT.Bibhu Kalyan Sahu, who was a psychiatrist posted at the City Hospital of Berhampur, claims that during the past four months, 58 mentally ill patients were given Modified ECT in this district hospital of Ganjam district. He said the City Hospital was the only government hospital in Odisha where Modified ECT was being administered.Key treatmentLast week, Dr. Sahu joined as an assistant professor at MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur. He hopes to start Modified ECT in the medical college hospital, while it will be resumed in the City Hospital when a psychiatrist takes up his vacant post. ECT, commonly known as shock treatment, involves passing of small electric currents through a patient’s brain to reverse symptoms of mental illness. It is a key treatment method in management of acute psychiatric illnesses.Only hospitalOver three decades ago, several countries replaced conventional ECT with Modified ECT. Some private medical institutions in Odisha are providing Modified ECT. “But no government hospital in Odisha, except the City Hospital in Berhampur, was using Modified ECT. Now all hospitals will have to shift to Modified ECT once the Mental Healthcare Bill becomes an Act,” he said.last_img

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