Six patients with coronavirus at the Khyber Teaching Hospital in Peshawar died on Saturday night due to a lack of timely oxygen supply, Farhad Khan, the hospital’s spokesman, reported on Sunday.
He said five patients had been admitted to the coronavirus ward of the hospital and one was in the intensive care unit (ICU). Rawalpindi provides the hospital with its oxygen supply, which did not enter on time contributing to the death of the critically ill patients, he said.
One resident of Peshawar said that his two-year-old son Sarim, who was admitted to KTH, had also died due to a lack of supply of oxygen, but the victim was not officially confirmed.
“My son was [admitted in the ICU] for last three days and died around 2:30am when oxygen supply was disrupted,”My son was [admitted to the ICU] for the last three days and died at around 2:30 am when the oxygen supply was disrupted.
The spokesperson said that during the winter season, more oxygen was needed. The hospital had the ability to store 10,000 litres of oxygen, which was stored on a regular basis, and backup cylinders were also available.
He further claimed that under control” was the situation and information were gathered about the reasons behind the delay in delivery.
KP Health Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra, meanwhile, ordered the KTH Board of Governors (BoG) to launch an incident investigation and take action within 48 hours.
Jhagra warned that the provincial government would promptly order its own independent investigation if the inquiry undertaken by the hospital’s BoG was found to be unsatisfactory.
The minister said in a tweet that all the details of the case will be made public and asked individuals to refrain from posting unverified social media information.
“Neither this nor any other incident will be left unused, to improve the health system, its service, and its system of accountability and transparency,” Jhagra said.
KP Chief Information Minister Advisor Kamran Bangash referred to the incident as “saddening” and claimed that the provincial government was committed to make the incident report public within 48 hours. He added that action against those liable will be taken.
After the incident, KTH Director Dr Tahir Nadeem said the Lady Reading Hospital provided KTH with oxygen cylinders and beds for the patients. The provincial health department recently supplied KTH with 100 fully loaded cylinders, which helped to manage the situation, he said.
Orders to appoint a three-member investigation committee to be led by Prof Roohul Muqim have been released. “We have done our own preliminary fact-finding and have found what the issue is,”We have done our own preliminary fact-finding and learned what the issue is.
He confirmed that last night, the tanker carrying the supply of oxygen that comes every night did not hit the hospital, which contributed to the crisis. Because of Covid, oxygen needs have risen a lot. Without high-pressure oxygen, ventilators and BIPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) devices can not operate.
The tanker that was heading to some other district [of the oxygen supply company] was redirected to us. We loaded our tank and resumed distribution by 5 a.m. As a substitute, we had 300 cylinders and we started to supply them until the supply expired, he added. Oxygen at the necessary pressure could not be delivered to patients on ventilators and BIPAP devices, though.
A team from the oxygen supply firm was on its way to the hospital to look into the incident, the director said.