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September 28, 2022

Three COVID patients die in “Victor Babes’s Hospital mobile ICU, PM Citu orders fast investigation into fatal oxygen failure

Three Covid patients have died at the mobile Intensive Care Unit of the ‘Victor Babes’ Hospital in Bucharest, apparently due to the malfunction of the oxygen supply system, the Health Ministry informed on Monday.

“The Ministry was informed via the Operational Center for Emergency Situations that three patients lost their lives at the mobile Intensive Care Unit run under the coordination of the Interior Ministry’s Department for Emergency Situations, and technically operated by the ‘Victor Babes’ National Institute,” the Ministry informed.

According to the first information sent to the Health Ministry’s Operational Center for Emergency Situations, the oxygen system of the mobile unit malfunctioned.

Another five patients who were also treated at the unit were immediately transferred to other facilities – one to another ward of the ‘Victor Babes’ Hospital, and four to the ROL2 Hospital in Otopeni, the ‘Bagdasar-Arseni’ Emergency Clinical Hospital and the Floreasca Hospital, the Health Ministry said.

“The Health Minister was at the site and was informed about the condition of the patients and the causes of the incident,” the statement reads.


Prime Minister Florin Citu offered on Monday night his condolences to the families of the three COVID patients who died earlier in the day at the mobile Intensive Care Unit of the ‘Victor Babes’ Hospital in Bucharest, following a malfunction of the oxygen supply system. Citu announced that he asked the Minister of the Interior to initiate a fast investigation into the case for all those who will be found guilty to be held accountable.

“Tragedy hit again in Romania, this time at the ‘Victor Babes’ Hospital, where three people died for reasons still unknown to us at this moment. My condolences to the grieving families. From what we know so far, it appears to be an accident, but an investigation has also kicked off. (…) I asked the IntMin to conduct this investigation as fast and transparently as possible, for all the culprits for what happened tonight to be held accountable,” Florin Citu said at the Victoria Palace of Government.

The Premier added that in the war with the Covid pandemic, hospitals and intensive care units in particular are under very high pressure, and therefore the help of all the society’s actors is needed, emphasizing that vaccination is the only way out of this tough situation.

“We have been caught in a fight and a war with this pandemic for a year now. The pressure on hospitals is very high, the pressure on intensive care units is extremely high. Everybody’s help is needed and that is why we have always said, and especially lately, that the vaccination drive is the only solution, it is very important at this time. The reason why I came out tonight – and this is important – is because I saw that the managers or the state representatives are skirting communication. The citizens need us to communicate more in such moments. They need us to come and explain. That’s why I also brought [Emergency Department head] Arafat with me tonight to explain exactly what happened. He’ll take your questions. What we know so far: we must no longer run away from communication. We must communicate transparently to Romanians every time,” Citu said, according to Agerpres.

The head of the Executive also assured that the authorities will further do their best to provide as many intensive care beds as possible, yet he pointed out that there is no guarantee now that such accidents won’t happen again. “In order to reduce the pressure and make sure this doesn’t repeat we need a successful vaccination campaign. They are going hand in hand at this moment,” Citu declared.

In his turn, head of the Department for Emergency Situations Raed Arafat said that the ICU oxygen pressure increased abruptly at 16:25 hrs, causing the US-manufactured breathing ventilators to shut down for protection. He also explained that the mobile unit’s oxygen supply system was carried out by an authorized company, that there was nothing improvised in the mobile facility which has successfully serviced some 600 – 700 patients in the months since its commissioning. The ordered investigation is to determine the cause for the surge in the oxygen pressure.


“Victor Babes” mobile ICU ventilators entered failure mode, company’s service representative refused  to enter unit


The ventilators of the mobile Intensive Care Unit located on the grounds of the ‘Victor Babes’ Bucharest Hospital stopped working due to the rise of the oxygen pressure above the allowed limit; a technical investigation is underway into the causes of the failure, the Department for Emergency Situations (DSU) announced on Monday evening, following the death of three Covid patients at the respective unit.

“The medical staff of the mobile Intensive Care Unit became aware of the concomitant failure of all the ventilators in the container and informed the technical team of the hospital that they have an overpressure alarm, specifically a rise in pressure past 6 bar, the maximum allowed limit for the correct and safe operation of this medical equipment. After checking the oxygen pressure in the mobile unit, the ventilators remained in failure mode. The representative of the ventilator selling company, who arrived at the scene, refused to enter the unit although he was offered complete Covid protective equipment, and eventually left the hospital premises without stepping into the mobile unit,” the Emergency Department said in a statement.

According to the cited source, a verification is currently underway to determine the causes that led to the increase of the oxygen pressure beyond the maximum admissible limit.

“The inspection of the ventilators, following the breakdown, showed that they stopped working following a registered increase in pressure beyond 6 bar. The unit operates under the joint coordination of the Department for Emergency Situations and of the hospital, and the continuous regulation of the working parameters, of the mobile unit’s oxygen supply system, the monitoring thereof and the technical operation of the facility is done by the technical team of the hospital,” the DSU statement shows.


Compiled from Agerpres

Photo: www.gov.ro

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