‘We Heard Cries For Help’: Oxygen Crisis Averted in City Hospital

JLNM Hospital – File Photo

However, Dr. Bilques Shah, the designated Covid Nodal officer at JLNM hospital, Rainawari denied any such incident saying the hospital has a solid backup plan.

By Umer Ahmad

Scores of attendants in Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial (JLMN) hospital Rainawari Tuesday shared their harrowing night-time experience, when the “oxygen plant suddenly went off”, creating breathless situation for around 100 Covid patients in the hospital.

The incident took place on the night of May 9 when a snag in oxygen plant created panic among attendants.

But timely intervention from the technical staff of the government-run hospital averted a major health crisis in the hospital.

“We were sleeping when suddenly at around1:30 cries for help came from the isolation ward,” an attendant told Kashmir Observer.

“Out of curiosity I also ran in the direction to see what is happening. As I stepped inside the critical ward, snapped oxygen supply terrified me.”

People who had concentrators or oxygen cylinders immediately put their patients on them, he said, while others put their patients on pruning positions.

“It took the hospital authorities 10 minutes to restore the oxygen supply,” the attendant said. “A similar incident happened again in the morning.”

However, Dr. Bilques Shah, the designated Covid Nodal officer at JLNM hospital, Rainawari, told Kashmir Observer that no such incident took place in the hospital.

“For the last 20 days we are continuously treating 60-70 high-risk patients and if oxygen goes off even for a minute there will be a catastrophe,” Dr Bilques said.

“We have a direct feeder from a receiving station for stable electric supply,” she added.

“In addition of that, we have one more backup power supply from Khanyar receiving station. And then we have 1000 LPM [Litres Per Minute] oxygen plant and one more plant with a capacity of 620 LPM will be ready by tomorrow.”

JLNM hospital was one of the first health centres to be declared as Covid-designated hospitals last year when Kashmir got its first Covid case on March 18, 2020.

“And since then, the hospital has remained at the forefront barring some stray incidents,” said a senior doctor posted in the hospital. “Even now, in the middle of this second wave, we are doing our best to mitigate the health crisis.”

However, complaining non-availability of doctors, another attendant told Kashmir Observer that people helped each other on Sunday night in stabilizing their patients.

“There was no doctor or nurse present in the ward when the incident happened,” he said, adding that the oxygen level in ward 8 is extremely low.

“In our ward, 15-litre oxygen gives an output of only 5 litres. We have complained it to the administration, but no action has been taken so far.”

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