165 PM CARES Ventilators Supplied To SMHS Hospital Defective, RTI Reveals

SRINAGAR: In a sensational revelation in response to an RTI query, the SMHS Hospital managers have said that all 165 ventilators supplied to the tertiary care hospital “PM CARES” were found defective and are not in use.

The response came to an RTI application filed by Activist S Balvinder Singh from none other than the head of the anaesthesiology and critical care medicine. The response letter signed on September 24, 2021, was seen by Kashmir Life. The response bears No PA/HOD/Anes/MC/1354 dated September 25, 2021. The information has come through the PIO, GMC, Srinagar.

Singh told reporters in Jammu that officials of the health department from the Jammu division admitted that the ventilators supplied to them are not of good quality and are not functioning properly but didn’t give exact details. He said to have been told that only 13 ventilators out of 179 are defective and are not working.

However, the GMC Srinagar, Balvinder said gave clear information with regard to the defective ventilators. Three types of ventilators were supplied to the SMHS Hospital. The ventilators were manufactured by three different companies and mostly failed during trial runs.

The SMHS Srinagar Department of Anaesthesiology received 37 Bharat Ventilators from Medical Superintendent SMHS Hospital and were put in the trial run. However, all these ventilators were returned to Medical Superintendent SMHS Hospital due to compressor and heat up problems, which resulted in the sudden shut down of these ventilators. Thus, these ventilators do not support patient care management.

The head of the department said that three Agva Ventilators were installed in SMHS Hospital. However, these ventilators are non-functional due to certain problems like display not working properly, problems in generating tidal volume.

Besides, the response said that 125 ventilators of DHAMAN-III were supplied. All these machines are stationed at DRDO Hospital at Khanmoh. Of them, two machines are in SMHS Hospital for a trial run in order to ascertain whether these ventilators generate the required tidal volume.

It was after the trial run, the response reads, it was observed that: “(i) Tidal Volume had not generated, (ii) The required Fl02 could not be delivered to the patients, thus is not feasible to be put in use for patient care; (iii) Ventilators stops automatically, hence, put patients at risk.”

The response has also revealed that 22 more Agva Ventilators stationed at the DRDO Hospital are also under trial.

The RTI activist claimed that the use of defective machines could have been a reason for higher morality during the second wave of Covid19 and have sought interventional of the High Court.

The RTI response said that the GMC hospitals have an adequate number of machines but lack the paramedical staff to operate these systems.

The government has said that an inquiry will be ordered. “At this point, I can only say we will investigate it. A probe will be ordered to find out why defective ventilators were supplied,” NDTV quoted Vivik Bhardawaj, Additional Chief Secretary Health saying.

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