NAGAPATTINAM: A 38-year-old bank employee, G Rajesh, who had Covid, died at Nagapattinam General Hospital on Wednesday night. While the hospital denied the family’s allegation that disruption in oxygen supply led to the death, Collector A Arun Thamburaj, who visited the hospital, said oxygen supply to the Covid ward was turned off for a while to prevent combustive accidents and the change of oxygen supply mode was inadequate to meet patient’s requirement.
The deceased’s brother-in-law R Sudhakar said, “Rajesh was able to communicate around 8 pm. Then, he started struggling to breathe after his oxygen supply was interrupted. He was moved to another floor, and died around 9.30 pm.”
Rajesh’s wife Subhashini is an Anganwadi worker. Their daughters are studying Class 5 and UKG respectively. Subhashini alleged that his oxygen saturation went from 90 to 20 minutes after supply was allegedly interrupted. However, doctors at the hospital denied this.
“We have sufficient oxygen backup. There was no interruption in supply. The patient was in the hospital for over 10 days, and his condition was critical. His oxygen saturation was less than 90. He passed away after his condition deteriorated,” said V Viswanathan, dean of Nagapattinam Medical College Hospital.
The Collector told TNIE, “The oxygen generation plant is supplying oxygen to two floors of the Covid block. I learnt there was some leak in the supply line on the ground floor. Supply was turned off for a while to prevent combustive accidents. Technicians were called in to rectify it.”
“There were 10 patients in the ward. The patient in question was the only one on continuous positive airway pressure therapy. Nurses were switching the oxygen supply to the cylinders. He was critically ill. The change of oxygen supply mode was inadequate to meet his requirement. Rajesh was moved to the first floor, receiving uninterrupted supply from the plant. He passed away before setting him on continuous positive airway pressure support properly,” he added.