Three Madurai hospital patients on life support die during power outage

The relatives alleged that the ventilators stopped working while the hospital management claimed that the ventilators continued to function on battery back-up.

Published: 08th May 2019 03:14 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th May 2019 03:14 PM   |  A+A-

Government Rajaji Hospital

Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai. (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

MADURAI: Three patients who were admitted to the Neuro Intensive Care Unit (ward number 101) at the Government Rajaji Hospital died on Tuesday night, allegedly due to lack of oxygen supply when the hospital faced power outage due to rain in the city. The relatives alleged that the ventilators stopped working while the hospital management claimed that the ventilators continued to function on battery back-up. The deceased have been identified as G Ravindran, M Malliga and P Palaniammal. 

According to hospital sources, G Ravindran (52) of Srivilliputhur was admitted at the GRH on May 3 after he suffered head injuries due to an accidental fall. He was recuperating from surgery which was performed on him on Monday. 

Another patient, M Malliga (58) of Melur was admitted on Monday, after being referred from Velammal Hospital. She had undergone surgery for an aneurysm at the private hospital on April 18 and was on life support since admission at GRH.

A resident of Ottanchathiram, P Palaniammal (60) who suffered a skull bone fracture in a road traffic accident on May 3 was admitted at the GRH on May 5. 

According to the relatives of the deceased patients, the annexe block of GRH near Anna Bus Stand (Trauma Care Centre) had a power outage from 5.30 pm till 7.15 pm. They stated that the hospital's power generator failed, which the hospital Dean Dr K Vanitha admitted. 

During the outage, the ventilators stopped working leading to lack of oxygen supply. The patients suffered from breathlessness and died within minutes while the power was still out, alleged the relatives of the deceased. 

Refuting the allegations, Dr Vanitha said that the generator tripped mid-way and stopped functioning. "But, the ventilators are equipped to function to a maximum of two hours using battery back-up, in the absence of power supply," she pointed. According to the hospital, Malliga passed away at 6.55 pm, Ravindran died at 7 pm and Palaniammal at 7.05 pm. 

Stating the cause of death, she said that all the three patients died after developing cardio-pulmonary arrest which she said is a common complication in case of patients with head injuries. 

Following the incident, an autopsy is to be performed on the bodies of the three patients and a detailed report about the incident is to be submitted to the Health Secretary Beela Rajesh. 


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