A doctor working at the government medical college hospital here on Tuesday supported a nursing officer's recent controversial claim that negligence in connecting the ventilator led to the death of a COVID-19 patient at the hospital in July this year.
In a WhatsApp audio clip, allegedly sent to her fellow staff members at the government medical college hospital in Kalamassery, the nursing officer was purportedly heard saying that misplacement of the ventilator tubes led to the death of the man on July 20 in the Intensive Care Unit.
The nursing officer was suspended from service on Monday. Supporting the officer's claim, the doctor, who is working in the ICU of the Kalamassery Medical College Hospital, said a duty doctor had told her that the patient was not on ventilator support.
"The patient was having the mask but the ventilator tube was found disconnected," she told a television news channel. "When the doctors reached to provide medical assistance, the patient had died," the doctor said.
The hospital rejected the allegations levelled by the doctor, saying the patient had died of heart attack. Addressing a press conference, the hospital authorities said the modern ICU facility of the hospital is functioning under the supervision of the senior doctors and specialists in various disciplines.
The doctor, who levelled the allegations against the hospital, was a temporary contract doctor. She was not on ICU duty on that day, they said. The hospital authorities reiterated that the man, admitted to the hospital on June 26 with COVID-19 symptoms, had not recovered from the deadly virus till his demise.
He was an acute diabetic, high BP patient and also overweight and suffering due to lack of proper breathing. Besides, he was suffering from serious COVID pneumonia.
He was not in a position to be shifted to the ward. The hospital also said he was put on NIV ventilator support and not on mechanical ventilator support. Tubes cannot be misplaced while being put on NIV ventilator support, the hospital said.