No COVID-19 patients in Rizgari Hospital died from lack of oxygen, says investigative committee

After protest by families
A number of bottled oxygen (File)

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SULAIMANI — A committee set up to investigate accusations that a lack of oxygen supplies at Erbil’s Rizgari Hospital contributed to the deaths of patients being treated for COVID-19 said in a statement on Friday (August 7) that there were deficiencies of management at the hospital, but no fatalities were directly caused by supply problems.

The committee said that hospital did not have the normal amount of liquid oxygen in its central supply because of delayed deliveries from the factory contracted to produce it, but that there was enough bottled oxygen on site to treat patients.

According to the report, staff members transferred “a large number” of bottles of oxygen to patient rooms on July 30, which it said caused a perception among family members that the hospital was running out of oxygen.

Some of the family members then protested outside the facilities, saying that their relatives had died because they were not getting supplementary oxygen.

The committee said that four COVID-19 patients died at the hospital that day, but all had been in an unstable condition before then and that their deaths were not caused by a lack of oxygen.

It also found that there were deficiencies in the management of the hospital, shortcomings on the part of the staff, and problems with the security of the hospital and the supply contractors.

The committee promised that urgent steps would be taken to prevent the recurrence of any such incidents.

(NRT Digital Media)