Two Covid patients a 50-year-old woman and a 64-year-old man died at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) around midnight on Monday, allegedly because the oxygen supply was disrupted. They passed away while medical oxygen was being unloaded from tanker lorries, sources said.
Both patients had tested negative for COVID-19 but as they presented symptoms of the disease were admitted to the block meant for COVID-19 patients and those suspected of having the disease.
According to reports, liquid oxygen was unloaded on Monday night which allegedly caused a drop in the pressure transmitted to Tower-3 block. This reportedly led to the death of two people, who were on ventilator support within 30 minutes. However, the remaining 81 patients remained unaffected due to the alleged mishap.
However, RGGGH dean Dr. E Theranirajan said the oxygen supply was not cut. “There was a difference in pressure between the already-existing liquid oxygen and the oxygen being unloaded from the tanker lorries. Instead of eight, it dropped to five. The pressure was transmitted to the oxygen line. The oxygen supply was not cut. When there was a pressure difference, the staff checked, and it was corrected within five minutes,” he said.
The dean added that the woman patient was shifted to RGGGH from a private hospital in an intubated state around 8.45 pm on Monday. She was on ventilator support and her family was informed that she could die anytime, he said.
The other patient was also very ill, he added, explaining that he had a grade-4 lung infection with suspected Covid and an amputated leg.
“There were 83 patients in the same ICU, and all of them are fine. I received a call at 12 am at the midnight, and within 10 minutes, I was there and checked everything. The oxygen supply was not cut,” the dean asserted, adding that the deaths cannot be attributed to the difference in pressure. He also ordered that a senior official should be present when oxygen is unloaded.