Hospitals are considered temples and doctors, Gods. But, the incident of disruption in power supply allegedly leaving five patients on life support dead at Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai is proving to be otherwise. Though Dean Vanitha has said the patients, who were in the ICU, died of natural causes and that it was sheer coincidence that the electricity supply was disrupted at the time, a detailed probe is needed to find out the truth.
For, relatives of the deceased have alleged that the ventilators were not working properly and reports have also claimed that manual pumps were used by doctors and nursing staff due to the power cut. However, a preliminary report submitted by the hospital to the Health Secretary says the ventilators had battery back-up and were functioning despite the power outage and generators failing.
According to Dr Vanitha, each ventilator has a battery back-up. Even in case of power failure, these life-saving machines will definitely work. While admitting that there was a power failure between 6.20 pm and 7.20 pm and the two generators malfunctioned, she said each ventilator could function without power for at least an hour due to battery back-up. ‘The ventilators are serviced every two weeks and reports are submitted to me regarding the equipment,’ she added. With contradictory claims being made by multiple sources, only a thorough investigation by a high-level committee can bring out the truth.