The death of 11 patients due to an interruption of oxygen supply at Sri Venkateswara Ramnarain Ruia Hospital on Monday evening is mainly 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 tank is said to have caused the incident. Although a 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. Since the pressure of the “almost empty” tank had dropped by then, the authorities rushed in to provide oxygen from the bulk cylinder. The five-minute delay for the replacement, unofficially set at 25 minutes by the victims’ relatives, caused the disaster.
Ruia Hospital has 1,028 beds, 876 of which are designated for COVID-19 patients and the rest for non-COVID cases. However, as the influx remained unabated for the past four days, the authorities tried to accommodate as many COVID cases as possible on the non-COVID beds. According to Superintendent K. Bharathi, 962 patients were treated Tuesday morning, 250 of which were classified as “serious cases”. There’s a lot more in the test and test areas.
The deceased were among the 135 who received ventilation assistance in the intensive care unit. “About 40 patients briefly experienced shortness of breath due to the low pressure of the bulk cylinder when it was replaced, 11 of whom died,” said hospital knot officer Hari Krishna. He said another tank would be installed in a week.
Lack of manpower
Although the government has provided additional oxygen in line with rising demand and donors have also stepped up the supply of tankers, the lack of trained labor to operate them remains a gray area. Sources of knowledge of things that have been revealed The Hindu that only one unskilled, poorly paid person was tasked with running the five to six oxygen tanks installed in Ruia and the adjoining government buildings of the maternity hospital.
Meanwhile, newly elected MP M. Gurumoorthy, MLA Bhumana Karunakar Reddy, and Mayor R. Sireesha visited the hospital on Tuesday to inspect measures to restore normalcy.