In a bizarre incident, a 40-year-old suspected coronavirus patient died after his relatives allegedly unplugged his ventilator to plug in an air-cooler. The incident took place at the Maharao Bhimsingh Hospital (MBS) hospital in the Kota district of the North Indian state of Rajasthan, earlier this week.
Reeling under the intense heatwave with the day-time temperatures touching 108 Fahrenheit, Rajasthan has so far recorded nearly 14,000 cases of the fatal virus. The total number of cases in India currently stands at over 381,000.
Victim Had Difficulty in Breathing, Was Placed in Isolation
The victim was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital after he reported difficulty in breathing on June 13. He was shifted to an isolation ward in the hospital earmarked for the suspected and positive cases of coronavirus.
"The hospital hasn't been designated as a COVID-19 center, but for the safety of our patients, we have made a makeshift isolation ward to admit suspected patients," Dr Naveen Saxena, medical superintendent at the MBS Hospital told VICE.
According to Indian Express, the room where the victim was shifted had no air conditioning unit and was very hot. The hospital authorities said that the air conditioning unit was not installed in the isolation ward to curb the spread of COVID-19. However, the relatives brought an air-cooler for the isolation room on June 15, without informing the authorities. After being unable to find a socket, they unplugged the ventilator to switch on the cooler.
Enquiry Ordered Into the Incident
The ventilator given to the patient had a backup battery, which discharged after some time. When the patient's condition turned critical, the relatives called the doctors and medical staff, who administered CPR upon the patient, but he could not be revived. According to authorities, the relatives did not inform the hospital authorities about unplugging the ventilator.
Soon after the death of the victim, a blame game started between the relatives and hospital authorities. The relatives misbehaved with the medical staff and resident doctor on duty, confirmed the authorities in their report.
A three-member committee comprising the deputy superintendent, nursing superintendent, and chief medical officer on duty has been formed. The committee will probe the incident and submit the report on Saturday. "The committee has recorded statements of medical staff in the isolation ward but the family members of the deceased patient are not responding to the panel," alleged Dr Saxena, adding that the cause of death would also be confirmed in the report.