Lack of oxygen | Ruia tragedy due to stress on medical infrastructure

The brief interruption in the flow of oxygen from the tanker is said to have caused the incident

The unfortunate incident in which eleven patients died on Monday evening at Sri Venkateswara Ramnarain Ruia hospital due to an interruption in oxygen supply is primarily due to the heavy load on the medical infrastructure. The sudden onslaught of patients in need of oxygen, especially over the past four days, had a cumulative effect.

The brief interruption in the flow of oxygen from the tanker is said to have caused the incident. Although another tanker from a plant in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu was supposed to arrive at 5:00 p.m., it reached it at 8:30 p.m. When the pressure of the “almost empty” tanker had dropped by then, the authorities rushed in to deliver oxygen from large cylinders. The five-minute delay for the replacement, unofficially set at 25 minutes by the victims’ families, created chaos and caused the disaster.

Ruia Hospital has 1028 beds, 876 of which are designated for COVID-19 patients and the rest for non-COVID cases. However, since the inflow remained undiminished in the past four days, the authorities tried to include as many cases as possible on the non-COVID beds as well. According to Ruia Superintendent K. Bharathi, 962 patients were treated Tuesday morning, 250 of whom were classified as “serious cases”. There’s a lot more in the test and test areas.

The deceased involved in the mishap were among the 135 who received ventilation assistance in the intensive care unit. “About forty briefly suffered from shortness of breath due to the low pressure of the pouring cylinder when it was replaced, from which eleven died,” said hospital knot officer Hari Krishna. He said another tanker would be installed in a week.

Lack of manpower

Although the government has provided additional oxygen in line with increasing demand and donors are also severely restricting the supply of tankers, the lack of trained workers to operate the tankers remains a gray area.

Sources of knowledge of things that have been revealed The Hindu that only one unskilled, poorly paid person was assigned to operate the five to six oxygen tankers installed in Ruia and in the adjoining government buildings of the maternity hospital. The person is also told not to have received any professional training in handling oxygen tankers. The Hospital Development Society (HDS) has not made any landmark decisions recently to improve the medical infrastructure.

In the meantime, MP M. Gurumoorthy, MLA Bhumana Karunakar Reddy and Mayor R. Sireesha visited the hospital on Tuesday to inspect the measures to restore normalcy.

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