The state-run Gandhi Hospital with 1200 beds is under a cloud after 21 patients died there on Friday. The staff have blamed power cuts for the deaths. According to a report, Professor CV Chalam, the superintendent in charge of Gandhi Hospital, was quoted as saying that each of the 21 deaths would have to be probed to determine if any of them was directly or indirectly linked to the blackout.
Some of the deaths on Friday were of patients who were on life support system, such as ventilators and incubators in the neo-natal ward. Shockingly, a senior doctor said he used his mobile phone torch to carry out an emergency surgery on a 28-year old man with an infected intestine.
Ambu-bags providing hand-pressed oxygen were used on all patients who were on ventilators. But the report said it was possible that some of the attendants may have administered the gas incorrectly. This task is usually done by hospital staff, but was left to attendants. The Telangana Southern Power Distribution Company Chairman and Managing Director G Raghuma Reddy said the power supply in Gandhi Hospital was affected due to an internal problem in the electrical room of the hospital.
Electricity first tripped around 3 pm and then continued to do so at regular intervals. The short circuit took place while the hospital staff was shutting down the generators to switch over to power supply that was restored after an official 90-minute shutdown for repairs and maintenance. “The divisional engineer and his team found that the supply from our lines was there up to the hospital. They checked the electrical room and spotted the problem. The supply was restored at night," he said.