Power outage claims life of critical COVID patient

Patient dies while being shifted from one ventilator to another at MGM Hospital

A 40-year-old critical COVID-19 patient who was on mechanical ventilator support at MGM Hospital, Warangal, has died before he could be shifted to another ventilator after a power cut on Saturday. Officials from the government hospital said that though they had a generator, it developed technical slag, and the patient died within a span of a few minutes before they could provide him with another mechanical ventilator.

The patient, identified as Gandhi, was admitted in the hospital on February 25. Hospital’s superintendent K. Nagarjuna Reddy said that Mr. Gandhi was provided with the ventilator support from March 6. “Despite keeping him on the ventilator and providing 100% oxygen, his saturation levels were 80-85. He was in critical condition and could not tolerate lack of the ventilator support even for a minute,” Dr. Nagarjuna said.

There was power outage between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Saturday. And the generator developed a technical problem which took around 15 minutes to 20 minutes to be fixed. The Hospital Superintendent said that every mechanical ventilator has power backup so that it functions despite power cuts. The ventilator Mr. Gandhi was provided too had a power back up.

“We anticipated some delay in repairing the generator, and wondered if the back-up power in the ventilator would be sufficient. So we planned to shift him to a ventilator with better back up. The time taken was not even five minutes,” Dr. Nagarjuna said. The superintendent said that it took only two to three minutes to shift the patient to another ventilator during which period the patient died.

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