Man dies after ventilator is unplugged by relatives in exchange for air conditioning


  • A suspected COVID-19 patient in India died after his relatives unplugged his ventilator so they can use an air conditioner at a hospital.
  • Even with India’s sweltering heat, the government-run hospital turned off the air conditioning as a measure to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Ventilator has backup power for 30 minutes but relatives did not inform staff they unplugged the ventilator leading to difficulty reviving the man and eventually, his death   

The sweltering heat in India, topping at 106 degrees at daytime, prompted a man’s relatives to bring an airconditioning unit to the room of the patient.  Seeing no other socket available, relatives allegedly unplugged the ventilator and plugged in the air conditioner.

An unplugged ventilator has a backup power for 30 minutes.  But since the relatives did not inform the staff that they have unplugged the battery, it was still not enough for the patient’s needs.

The man died almost 30 minutes later. Even with CPR, the staff was still not able to revive the patient.

The 40-year old man from Maharao Bhimsingh Hospital in Kota in northern India, was suspected to have contacted the coronavirus after exhibiting symptoms for it.  He was admitted into an ICU, and later transferred to an isolation ward after another patient in the ICU tested positive for Covid-19. 

The government-run hospital’s air conditioning in the isolation rooms were turned off as a measure to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

An investigation is underway on the incident and the man’s cause of death as he tested negative for the coronavirus.  “We have set up a committee with the deputy superintendent of the hospital, nursing superintendent, isolation ward staff and chief medical officer to file a report that details what happened,” Dr. Navin Saxena told Vice News.

No formal complaint was filed or lodged with the local police regarding the incident.

Source: New York Post

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