Doctor, 7 others die in Delhi hospital due to oxygen crisis
Oxygen cylinders stored at Kolkata Medical College Hospital, amidst the spike in numbers of COVID-19 patients, in Kolkata on April 23, 2021.Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS

Doctor, 7 others die in Delhi hospital due to oxygen crisis

New Delhi, May 1, 2021

Eight Covid-19 patients, including a doctor, died at Delhi's Batra Hospital on Saturday afternoon due to shortage of medical oxygen at the facility.

This is the second time in a week that Batra Hospital has run out of medical oxygen. On April 24, the hospital received a last-minute re-supply that arrived minutes after its oxygen reserves ran out.

The tragedy was reported around 12.45 p.m. at the Batra hospital in Delhi's Mehrauli area.

Among the deceased was the hospital's gastroenteritis head Dr R. K. Himthani, 62. Six of the eight were admitted to the hospital's Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and two to the wards.

Around 12.30 p.m., the hospital said it had run out of liquid medical oxygen supply. An oxygen tanker reached the hospital around 1.35 p.m.

Hospital officials told the Delhi High Court -- holding a 11th straight day of hearings into the city's oxygen crisis -- that re-supply tankers reached the hospital only at around 1.30 p.m, meaning that around 230 critically ill patients were without oxygen for around 80 minutes.

"We ran out of oxygen at 12.45 p.m. Supply came at 1.30. We were out of oxygen for 1 hour and 20 mins," the hospital told the court.

"We hope no lives were lost," the court responded, to which the hospital said: "We have... including one of our own... one doctor."

The hospital has 327 patients out of which 48 are in the critical care unit. It has been raising alarms since Saturday afternoon over depleting levels of oxygen supply.

In a video SOS posted earlier on Saturday, Dr Sudhanshu Bankata, Batra's Executive Director said: "We have just run out of oxygen... currently surviving on some cylinders. Over the next 10 minutes that will also run out. We are again in crisis mode. Delhi government is trying to help but their tanker is some distance away."

Earlier this month, 20 people admitted in the critical care unit of Jaipur Golden hospital in Rohini died when oxygen levels dropped. The hospital had, before the Delhi High Court, blamed the Delhi government for the delay in oxygen reaching them.

IANS

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