Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Pakistan: Doctors suspended after oxygen shortage kills patients | Pakistan

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The hospital director among seven suspended at Peshawar hospital after seven patients with COVID-19 died due to lack of oxygen.

Seven officials at a Pakistani hospital in the northwestern city of Peshawar were suspended a day after at least seven COVID-19 patients died due to lack of oxygen supply .

Farhad Khan, spokesperson for Khyber University Hospital, said on Sunday that the patients died on Saturday evening when the vendor who supplied the hospital with medical oxygen did not arrive on time.

Khan told AFP that a disruption in oxygen supplies has affected some 200 people, nearly 100 of them with coronavirus.

The chronic oxygen deficiency “has gone unnoticed, unsupervised and uncontrolled,” a preliminary report said on Sunday evening, adding that no supplemental oxygen supply had been put in place.

The hospital director was among those suspended with immediate effect.

Taimur Saleem Jhagra, provincial health minister, told AFP authorities will hold a second detailed investigation within the next five days.

Health officials move body of deceased COVID-19 victim to Abbottabad hospital [File: Sultan Dogar/EPA]

“The hospital ran out of oxygen around 8 p.m., how come they couldn’t fix the problem before 12 o’clock?” Jhagra said.

“Some of the staff were away, some were away and there were no other arrangements, even the emergency team was not available,” he added.

Pakistan has reported more than 400,000 cases of the coronavirus – including more than 8,000 deaths – since its arrival in late February.

Intensive care units in hospitals across the country are now nearly full as provincial governments struggle to cope with the surge in the number of cases.


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