COVID-19: Bihar hospital turns to music therapy to treat critical patients

Bihar hospital covid vaccine
A medic administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a beneficiary at a government dispensary, during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, in Patna. Image Credit: ANI

Patna: A government hospital in Bihar has turned to music therapy to treat critically-ill COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and battling for life. Hospital authorities said the idea has thrown up positive results by improving the recovery rate of patients.

The idea is currently being used by Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College and Hospital (JLNMCH), a premier medical facility located in Bhagalpur, an eastern Bihar’s town some 230km from Patna. This hospital has been declared as a dedicated “COVID-19 health facility” by the state government keeping in view sudden surge in number of patients during the second wave.

Hospital authorities said they had been playing soft instrumental music—from classic and devotional to soothing film songs—thrice during the day at the ICU to motivate the patients who lost hope for life. The list of music being played has been prepared by a team of health experts so that they could end negativity from the minds of patients and keep them relaxed.

“The idea is to lighten the mood of the patients, keep them relaxed and end depressive tendencies from their minds. Happy mood and positive thinking not only help fight COVID-19 but also lessen the danger of death to a certain extent,” hospital’s neuropsychiatrist Dr Pankaj Manaswi said.

According to Manaswi, the introduction of music therapy has given tremendous results in the sense that it has pushed up the recovery rate among COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICU. “We recorded the recovery rate of patients admitted to ICU at 73.98 per cent against 68.62 per cent in the general wards without music systems,” he said.

Medical equipment

He said although it is true that ICU is fitted with all medical equipment and health facilities yet it is also a fact that majority of the patients admitted there remain critical ones. Currently, a total of 123 COVID-19 patients are admitted to the ICU out of its total 136 beds.

Keeping in view its positive impact, the hospital administration has now announced to extend the music therapy to the general wards too. “We have planned to fix music systems in other wards too,” hospital superintendent Asim Kumar Das told the media on Saturday.

According to hospital officials, the idea to start music therapy in the ICU was planned last year when a team of senior health officials had visited the hospital for infection. Finally, the idea was adopted in the ICU during the second wave of the COVID-19.

The second wave had proved quite devastating in the state with the deadly virus claiming more than 2,000 lives in the past 45 days itself against 1,578 lives it had claimed in the past one year since March 2020. What is further alarming, the deadly corornavirus has struck mostly youngsters in its second wave. According to an official report, a huge number of 59.8 per cent people infected with COVID-19 come from 20-49 age-groups.