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Dec 06, 2012 at 11:31am IST

Delhi ventilator snag kills five patients: Who is responsible?

New Delhi: The police on Wednesday arrested a Delhi government hospital's technician and the supervisor in a medical negligence case after five ICU patients died after their oxygen supply was cut off during maintenance work. Sushruta Trauma Centre authorities said that the hospital had nothing to do with the oxygen supply cut, that killed five people on Tuesday.

In fact, washing their hands off the incident, the authorities are now blaming the gas supply company. MS Sushruta Trauma Centre Richa Dewan said, "As per our contract with PES Installations Pvt Ltd at least two trained personnel should be present at night. Only one helper was present here. It was the critical delay of few minutes in changing the oxygen cylinders that caused the tragedy."

An FIR was registered against the company and an employee detained but the company is defending itself. PES employee S Talwar said, "The hospital is to be blamed. We will submit documents to prove that our contract was over." State Health Minister AK Walia announced a compensation of Rs two lakh for the deceased. Walia has also formed a three-member committee, which will submit its report by Thursday.

While the hospital authorities and the private contractor are busy playing the blame game, the fact remains that lives have been lost and someone is responsible. This incident should serve as a wake up call to the government so that they carry out a status check of hospitals across the city and mend the existing issues and ensure that such a tragic incident does not happen anytime in the future.

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