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Close call for COVID patients at Srinagar's JLNM hospital following snag at oxygen plant

Oxygen cylinders in Srinagar. Representational image   | Photo Credit: PTI

A major tragedy was averted in Srinagar on Monday when a government-run hospital, the Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial (JLNM), developed a snag in its oxygen plant, sending oxygen levels of around 100 COVID-19 patients plummeting to “dangerously low” levels.

 

An attendant said his father, admitted with bilateral pneumonia at the JLNM hospital, was left gasping for oxygen for around 20 minutes.

 

“My father is on a high-flow oxygen supply. Suddenly, the monitor was showing an oxygen saturation level of less than 50 and was continuously dipping,” he said on the condition of anonymity.

 

The snag in the oxygen plant was detected at around 11 a.m. and set off a furore with attendants banging on the doors of the hospital administrators, according to eyewitnesses.

 

According to the hospital records, over 100 COVID-19 patients admitted in the hospital are on the high and low flow oxygen supply, with around four patients in the Intensive Care Units (ICUs).

 

“The situation of the ICU patients was much worse than the wards. They were all on the brink. We thought we would lose them,” another attendant said.

 

Dr Bilquis Shah, COVID-19 nodal officer of the JLNM hospital, said the snag was rectified in “the nick of time”.

 

“The snag did not last for 20 minutes. It would have proven catastrophic if it was prolonged, as most COVID-19 patients are oxygen dependent. It may have been for around five minutes. We were able to stabilise all patients eventually,” Dr. Shah told The Hindu.

 

She said the hospital administration has flagged a few issues regarding the maintenance of the oxygen plant “to avoid any such situation in the future”.

 

The failure of the oxygen plant also saw the intervention of the Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, and the Divisional Commissioner's offices, after chaos at the hospital.


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 6:41:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/close-call-for-covid-patients-at-srinagars-jlnm-hospital-following-snag-at-oxygen-plant/article34527805.ece

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