Representational Image. (HT Photo)
Representational Image. (HT Photo)

Eight patients die in a private hospital due to oxygen shortage

Doctors at Kirti Hospital, which has 50 beds for Covid patients, said those who died there were between 40 and 75 years of age
By Leena Dhankhar, Gurugram
UPDATED ON MAY 02, 2021 09:20 AM IST

Eight critical Covid-19 patients died at a private hospital in Sector 56 on Friday after the hospital ran out of oxygen. Relatives of the dead assaulted doctors and hospital staff alleging negligence.

Doctors at Kirti Hospital, which has 50 beds for Covid patients, said those who died there were between 40 and 75 years of age. On Saturday, the hospital asked families of all patients to take them elsewhere as it struggled to find oxygen. By evening, the hospital shut its operations.

Assistant commissioner of police (Sadar) Aman Yadav said the violence in the hospital occurred at around 11 pm following which a team was dispatched to control the situation. He said that the people had vandalised the hospital. “We organised three oxygen cylinders with the help of Red Cross and the municipal commissioner to save lives of the patients there,” he said adding that 18 more were arranged soon.

Although doctors and hospital staff suffered injuries during the attack, no case was registered against anyone, said police.

“The doctors failed to provide proper treatment to my brother-in-law and he died due to shortage of oxygen supply,” said a Delhi resident who requested anonymity.

The hospital said they had made many attempts at procuring oxygen.

“Since (Friday) morning I was informing the municipal corporation of Gurugram [MCG] commissioner (about the oxygen situation), but he ignored my messages and did not respond to my calls either. I had even informed the deputy commissioner but to no avail. I was begging and pleading before all officials to help but no one landed a helping hand and we lost eight patients,” said Dr Swati Rathore, director of Kriti Hospital.

Rathore said she had requested families to shift their patients on Friday itself after they failed to get the oxygen but there were no beds available anywhere. “Their oxygen saturation level had reached 65 [safe limit is >95%] and there was no other way to save them except by giving oxygen. We had sent our vehicles to get oxygen refilled but despite waiting for more than 12 hours we did not get a single cylinder. We need at least 60 oxygen cylinders per day but we are hardly getting 10,” she said. “My patients died and the administration should be held responsible as they did not support us.”

Yash Garg, deputy commissioner of Gurugram denied the Rathore’s allegations. “I was not aware of the oxygen status of the hospital nor did the concerned doctors inform me. I received a message at 3 am on Saturday following which I had sent 20 oxygen cylinders,” he said.

Garg said he will get an inquiry initiated into the incident.

MCG commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh did not respond to the calls and messages.

Nandkishore Deoli, whose brother-in-law was admitted in the hospital, said that they were on their way to Dehradun to admit him in a private hospital there. “For the past four days we were in panic as everyday was a challenge to get oxygen. We survived because we had an oxygen cylinder and refilled it on our own. There is no infrastructure and facilities for the patient, we could not leave him there to die,” he said.

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