11 COVID patients die in Andhra hospital due to disruption in oxygen supply

Families of deceased say oxygen supply was cut off for almost 45 minutes; district collector say there was supply lag of just five minutes

Representative photo

Eleven COVID-19 patients in the ICU of Ruia Hospital in Andhra Pradesh’s Tirupati died on Monday evening due to disruption in the supply of oxygen to their beds.

Even though families of the deceased alleged that oxygen supply for cut off for almost 45 minutes, Chittoor District Collector M Hari Narayan said “there was a five-minute lag in reloading the oxygen cylinder that caused the pressure to drop,” leading to the deaths.

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Visuals from the hospital showed medical staff desperately trying to resuscitate patients after the supply glitch.

According to Hari Narayan, 700 of the 1,000 COVID patients admitted to the hospital are being treated in ICU beds which has oxygen supply. Around 30 doctors were pressed into action to attend the patients at the ICU.

Hari Narayan, however, said the supply was restored within five minutes and now the hospital has connected bulk cylinders to avoid a recurrence of the episode.

“The oxygen supply was restored within five minutes and everything is now normal. We now have connected bulk cylinders and there is no reason to worry. A major disaster was averted because of quick action by medical staff,” he told PTI.

The collector blamed the delay in arrival of oxygen cylinders from Tamil Nadu for the crisis.

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In a similar incident on Sunday, seven patients died at a government hospital in Hyderabad after oxygen supply was disrupted allegedly for almost two hours.

The incidents come at a time when states are battling to provide oxygen to hospitals amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Andhra Pradesh has logged in over 12.87 lakh cases so far.

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