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Jharkhand: Woman dies after ‘oxygen leak’ at hospital; admin says probe on

If the allegations are proven right, Shobha’s death is the first in the state to have occurred in a hospital due to interruption of oxygen flow.

Written by Abhishek Angad | Ranchi |
May 8, 2021 12:02:33 am
JharkhandHospital authorities have confirmed the leak but said that it was still being examined if Shobha died because of the interruption in oxygen supply. (Photo: PTI/Representational)

A 43-year-old woman, who was undergoing treatment for Covid-19 infection, died on Thursday shortly after a leak in the manifold supply system for oxygen in Ranchi’s Sadar Hospital.

Shailendra Tiwary, the brother-in-law of the deceased woman, Shobha Tiwary, claimed she started showing signs of breathlessness after her oxygen supply was interrupted due to a leak around 5.30 am on Thursday.

Hospital authorities have confirmed the leak but said that it was still being examined if Shobha died because of the interruption in oxygen supply.

Shailendra said, “In the next 20 minutes after the oxygen supply dipped, my sister-in-law was dead. She was in the ICU, but had shown signs of improvement, and we had a chat at night. In the morning, when the hospital ran out of oxygen, the health workers tried hard to put her on oxygen cylinder, but it was too late. She passed away because the oxygen supply was interrupted.”

If the allegations are proven right, Shobha’s death is the first in the state to have occurred in a hospital due to interruption of oxygen flow.

“Apart from my sister-in-law, at least four others died Thursday morning due to interruption in the supply,” Shailendra further alleged. However, The Indian Express was unable to independently verify these allegations.

Ranchi Deputy Commissioner Chhavi Ranjan, meanwhile, has denied oxygen interruption as the cause of any death.

Sadar Hospital’s deputy medical superintendent Sabasychi Mandal said: “There was a leak in the manifold system of oxygen supplies, after which the oxygen pressure dropped for around half-an-hour. However, it is difficult to say that people died because of this. There is a team which is looking into the matter.”

A Health Department official, who did not want to be named, claimed that there was no shortage of oxygen at the hospital.

“We have manifold system where many jumbo cylinders are connected to a pipeline supplying oxygen to the ICU patients. It is more of a technical issue where we have put more burden on a system with less capacity. This manifold was supposed to cater to only five patients on ventilators, but with a view to save more lives during this crisis, we had put 20 patients on it. There is no malafide intention here, but a technical problem with intent to save lives.”

Ranchi is facing one of the highest caseloads in the state with 19,613 active cases and 42 deaths reported on May 6.

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