Eight Covid-19 patients die due to delay in oxygen supplyOxygen supply was insufficient at the Western Regional Hospital in Pokhara on Thursday due to the disruption of power supply at the oxygen plant.
Eight Covid-19 patients undergoing treatment at the Pokhara-based Western Regional Hospital under the Pokhara Academy of Health Sciences died after the hospital ran out of medical oxygen on Thursday night.
“Three of the deceased were from Tanahun, two from Kaski and one each from Parbat, Myagdi and Syangja districts. Among the deceased, one was a postpartum woman,” said Dr Sharad Chandra Baral, the Covid-19 focal person at the Western Regional Hospital.
The hospital informed that some of the deceased were kidney, liver and diabetes patients.
According to Baral, among the eight deceased, four were kept on high flow oxygen support.
“The supply of oxygen to the hospital was delayed by half an hour on Thursday. The hospital could not manage oxygen on time and eight patients died because of it,” said Baral.
Pokhara Oxygen Gas Pvt Ltd supplies oxygen to the hospital. According to the supplier, the production of oxygen was halted for around 45 minutes on Thursday noon due to a power cut at the plant for around 30 minutes.
Issuing a press statement on Friday, the hospital said oxygen supply was insufficient at the hospital on Thursday morning due to the disruption of power supply at the oxygen plant.
Dr Bharat Bahadur Khatri, director of the hospital, said the hospital had enough oxygen for Covid-19 patients but the urgent need to put some of the patients on high-flow oxygen led to a shortage.
The regional hospital, which is also the referral hospital of the western region, has not installed an oxygen plant yet. Every year, the hospital purchases oxygen through a tender process. In the current fiscal year, Pokhara Oxygen Gas Pvt. Ltd has the tender to supply oxygen to the hospital.
According to the hospital administration, the hospital has been providing treatment to Covid-19 patients from the Emergency Ward because of a shortage of beds.
On April 29, the regional hospital allocated 90 out of its total 370 beds for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.
Currently, 80 Covid-19 patients are receiving treatment at the hospital.
“The hospital consumes 360 oxygen cylinders on a daily basis. It plans to install an oxygen plant soon. We hope to install one within four to eight weeks,” said Khatri.
On May 12, a total of 14 Covid-19 patients had also died due to oxygen shortage in Rupandehi district.