Two suspected COVID-19 patients died within a gap of 30 minutes at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai on Monday night allegedly after a drop in oxygen pressure. The two patients —a 52-year-old woman and a 64-year-old man—died while the hospital was unloading oxygen from the lorries. However, the hospital denied that oxygen flow was cut off, stating that the two patients were critically ill and died due to their medical condition.
According to reports, liquid oxygen was unloaded on Monday night which allegedly caused a drop in the pressure transmitted to Tower-3 block. This reportedly led to the death of two people, who were on ventilator support within 30 minutes. However, the remaining 81 patients remained unaffected due to the alleged mishap.
The two patients, who were suspected to have COVID-19, were identified as a 54-year-old woman who was shifted from a private medical college hospital to RGGGH at 8.45 pm on Monday and a 62-year-old man who had grade-4 lung infection and an amputated leg. Both patients had tested negative for COVID-19 but as they presented symptoms of the disease were admitted in the block meant for COVID-19 patients and those suspected of having the disease.
Denying that oxygen supply was cut off, the dean of RGGGH Dr E Theranirajan told TNIE that there was a drop in pressure by a few points. He said that this was noticed and rectified within minutes. He added that the other patients in the ICU were not affected.
On Tuesday, 3,645 persons in Tamil Nadu tested positive for the novel coronavirus taking the total number of active cases in the state to 25,598 people. Chennai reported 1,303 new COVID-19 cases. The state also reported the deaths of 15 patients.