There is no proof that the oxygen supply was cut off for a 'mock drill' at a prominent private hospital in Agra, said Uttar Pradesh's Death Audit Committee on its report on Friday. However, the Committee found that the hospital administration had misled patients on grounds of lack of oxygen and discharged them, which is against the Epidemic Diseases Act protocols.
Death Audit Committee report stated that Police will take necessary action against the said hospital for violation of Epidemic Diseases Act protocols.
On June 8, the Uttar Pradesh health department initiated a probe after a video showed the owner of a prominent private hospital in Agra purportedly admitting that he had on April 26 got the oxygen supply of critical patients stopped for five minutes as an "experiment to know who all are going to survive."
"It is not at all true that 22 patients died after oxygen supply was cut off for a mock drill. No one's oxygen was cut off for a drill nor is there any proof of it. It's misleading information, or else 22 people would have died on April 26," the Death Audit Committee said in its report.
The committee in its report said the said hospital was provided with 149 cylinders with 20 in reserve on April 25 and 121 cylinders with 15 in reserve on April 26, which was sufficient for the patients.
"Besides, attendants of some patients had also arranged oxygen from their end...On the basis of symptoms of hypoxia and oxygen saturation levels, a bedside analysis was conducted on every patient. It was found that out of the admitted critical patients, 22 were severely critical. Out of 16 dead, 14 had comorbidities and two didn't,' the report stated.
"It has been proved that hospital administration misled patients on grounds of lack of oxygen and discharged them. This is against the Epidemic Diseases Act protocols. Police to take necessary action in this regard," the Committee added in its report," the report added.
Recently a video went viral in which the owner of Paras Hospital in Agra was heard saying: "During an acute shortage of oxygen... the hospital conducted a mock drill. We stopped the oxygen supply for five minutes around 7 am on April 26. Twenty-two patients started gasping for breath and their bodies began turning blue. Then there were remaining 74 patients and we asked their family members to bring their own oxygen cylinders"
On July 9, the Agra administration had sealed a private hospital and initiated a probe into the matter.
Dr Arinjay Jain, the owner of Agra's Paras Hospital, who is at the centre of a controversy, had said that news reports of 22 deaths are baseless and he is ready to cooperate with any investigation.
"By mistake or innocence, I mentioned the word 'mock drill' in the video but there was no mock drill as such. We conducted, call it clinical assessment or mock drill, to check how we can maintain a patient at a minimum level of oxygen in our effort to ensure its rationale use.
During this exercise, bedside oxygen adjustment was made," Dr Jain had said, adding that oxygen supply was not snapped during this exercise.
Agra District Magistrate of Agra Prabhu N Singh had earlier informed that the video was of April which went viral on June 7. "Agra is a small city. There would an outcry if 22 patients die at a hospital. No patients died due to oxygen shortage that day," Singh had said.
(With ANI Inputs)