BENGALURU: 15 ventilators ordered by the Karnataka State Drug Logistics and Warehousing Society (KSDLWS) for COVID-19 patients were found to be used, tampered with broken and old stands.
A letter written by the society dated April 28 2020, to the company states that the ventilators do not comply with the supply order and that the Delhi-based company, RK Medical Solution Company, will have to take back the supplied ventilators at their own cost, and that the order stands cancelled.
The letter of which TNIE has a copy, reads, "We have received 15 numbers of Drager Ventilators on April 14 2020. We have been trying to get your firm to send a technical person for pre-dispatch inspection. When there was no response from your end, an in-house inspection was done and the observations made by the health equipment officer, KSDLWS is as under."
"No certificates (ISO,CE,FDA)/ brochures, model with manufacturing details or proof not available. Ventilators found used and tampered with broken/old stands," the letter goes on to add.
One ventilator was found to have run for 46583 hours though KSDLWS was clear that it should be a new machine.
"As per the work order the technical specifications do not comply fully compared to the data sheet. Many essential modes/options not available, it cannot ventilate at neonatal mode/pediatric mode which is an essential mode for different COVID-19 patients as per the anaesthesia specialist opinion. Suitable technical demonstration not provided from the original equipment manufacturer or supplier," said the letter signed by Manjushree, Commissioner, Food Safety and Standard Authority and Additional Director, KSDLWS.
However, speaking to TNIE, Manjushree said, "15 ventilators were not tampered but found to be refurbished. In the tender we stated that we will not accept refurbished ventilators and had ordered new ones. We have sent it back now and whichever company has ready stock available of new ventilators, we will order from them. We will not order from this company."
"So far we have ordered 1500 ventilators. Of them, 1300 are from Government of India which is yet to come. 130 have been ordered from Skanray Technologies in Mysuru of which 30 have been supplied so far. 60-70 more ventilators have been ordered from local manufacturers, of which 41 have been received. These 15 were part of the 41 and were sent back."