Kochi

Minor scare for dialysis patients after power outage

Generator fails to work following snag at Perumbavoor Taluk Hospital

Patients undergoing dialysis at the Perumbavoor Taluk Hospital had a scare on Thursday when power supply snapped during the course of the procedure, and the generator did not kick in owing to an unforeseen snag.

The first batch of nine patients was undergoing dialysis when power snapped around 11 a.m., with nearly half-an-hour left for the completion of the procedure. Normally, the generator takes over automatically in the event of a power outage, which was not the case at the hospital, nor it could be manually made operational despite the best of efforts by the hospital authorities. They said the hiccup was completely unexpected as the generator was being periodically maintained.

“The agency people [in charge of maintenance] rushed to the hospital and initially found it to be a fault with the starter motor. Since they said it would take some time to rectify the fault, we decided to stop the dialysis prematurely by a few minutes as the UPS backup would not have lasted beyond 30 minutes,” said M.M. Shani, superintendent of the hospital.

However, a few patients experienced panic attack, fearing that the premature stoppage of the procedure would have an adverse effect on their health.

Some even complained of chest pain, but their vitals were found to be stable on examination. “There was nothing to worry since the dialysis had already completed three hours and was as good as over. Their concerns were baseless,” Dr. Shani said.

Eventually, the agency found the snag to be a minor one owing to a faulty battery, which they promptly replaced following which dialysis for the second batch of patients was conducted albeit with a little delay.

“We have all our equipment from dialysis machines, generator, air conditioners, and computers covered by an annual maintenance contract [AMC]. We spend over ₹70,000 on AMC for the equipment not covered under the maintenance provided by the Government,” Dr. Shani said.

The hospital has 10 dialysis machines serving 44 patients in two batches of nine each on alternate days. One more machine is to be added shortly using the corporate social responsibility initiative of a private company.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 7:40:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/minor-scare-for-dialysis-patients-after-power-outage/article30580415.ece

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