Covid-19: Senior citizen dies as SKIMS Bemina’s four ventilators were occupied

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A Covid-19 patient in his late 60s died at the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Bemina while waiting to be shifted on a ventilator, the deceased’s family has said.

The deceased was admitted to the hospital about five days ago after being transferred from a Covid-19 facility in Pethkot Beerwah after his oxygen levels dipped to below 60. 

“He was on oxygen support,” his younger brother Habibullah Mir said. “On the 17th the consultant doctor said that he needed to be put on a ventilator but it wasn’t available.”

Mir said that the family waited for a ventilator as doctors advised against shifting the deceased to another facility as his oxygen levels dipped further. “We were told to wait till 11 am on the 19th,” he said. They said that he wouldn’t be able to sustain himself till the [hospital in] Rainawari.”

The patient died at 4 am on 19 May, waiting for ventilator support. There are just four ventilators at SKIMS Bemina, according to the administration’s daily health bulletin. 125 Covid-19 patients were admitted to the hospital as of 19 May.

Shafa Deva, the Medical Superintendent, declined to comment citing the directions against it. The Director of Health Services Kashmir, Mushtaq Ahmad Rather, had issued a gag order on 7 May against doctors speaking to the press.

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