8 patients die as Delhi’s Hospital runs out of oxygen, HC warns action against Centre

Photo: India today

Eight people, including a doctor, died at Delhi’s Batra Hospital on Saturday due to shortage of medical oxygen. Six of the eight were admitted to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and two to the wards.

The doctor who died has been identified as Dr RK Himthani, the head of the Gastroenterology Unit, Hospital confirmed.

“We ran out of LMO (Liquid Medical Oxygen) at 12:15 p.m. and we received LMO supply at 1:35 p.m. In between, we had some oxygen cylinders, but they cannot support ventilators. Eight people died due to shortage of oxygen and we not receiving oxygen on time,” Dr Sudhanshu Bankata, Executive Director of Batra Hospital told The Hindu.

“Not getting oxygen can lead to complications for the patients in the future also. Once the patient destabilise, death can happen later also,” he said. 

Hospital officials told the Delhi High Court that 230 people were without oxygen for 80 minutes.

“We hope no lives were lost,” the court responded, to which the hospital said: “We have… including one of our own… one doctor.”

HC directs Centre to ensure that Delhi receives its 490 MT oxygen supply today by ‘whatever means’.

Delhi’s quota of oxygen had been raised to 490 metric tonnes per day – against an estimated demand of around 700 MT – but supply is only around 400 MT, the state government has said.

“Water has gone above the head. Now we mean business. You (Centre) will arrange everything now, “the court said.

“We direct the centre to ensure that Delhi receives its 490 tonnes (of medical oxygen) today by whatever means. It falls on the centre to arrange tankers as well. The allocation was made on April 20 and not even one day Delhi has received its allocated supply. If this is not implemented, we may even consider initiating contempt proceedings,” the court observed.

Delhi Govt’s advocate Rahul Mehra urges High Court to issue a contempt notice to erring supplier for supplying less than 40% of their voluntarily agreed amount, saying that unless we put the fear in supplier, they will take the city on ransom. HC asks Amicus curiae to talk to supplier, according to ANI.

Last week 25 people at the Jaipur Golden Hospital, Delhi died due to shortage of medical oxygen.