Inquiry ordered into Cuddalore COVID-19 patient’s death over alleged lack of oxygen

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Inquiry ordered into Cuddalore COVID-19 patient’s death over alleged lack of oxygen

The Tamil Nadu government has ordered an inquiry into the death of a 49-year-old COVID-19 patient in Cuddalore after the deceased patient’s wife alleged that the death was due to the removal of oxygen supply from her husband to help another patient. While family members allege that the cause of death was due to lack of oxygen support, the hospital authorities said that the death was due to cardiac arrest and the oxygen support was removed only while he was eating breakfast.

According to reports, Raja from Tittakudi panchayat was admitted to Cuddalore Government Hospital on May 8 for breathlessness and he was undergoing treatment in the ICU. Two days back, his oxygen dropped to 60% and he was kept under high high-flow nasal oxygen (HFNO) support. However, on Friday, a video was circulated from the hospital showing Raja’s wife Kasturi alleging that her husband died since his oxygen was removed despite her efforts to stop the hospital staff.

Cuddalore Collector Balasubramanian immediately visited the hospital and conducted an inspection. He said, “The patient was given oxygen support for 15 days and his infection level was 80%. Only while he was eating, the machine was changed and JDHS has said that the cause of death was cardiac arrest. Hence, it has been informed that the death was not due to lack of oxygen support.”

Meanwhile, AIADMK coordinator and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami demanded the government to order for a detailed probe into the death.

In a press statement, Edappadi Palaniswami, referring to the video, called upon the government to take legal action against those responsible. He also asked the government to provide a solatium to the family of the deceased.

Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian said that the death was due to cardiac arrest suffered while he was eating and the patient died despite treatments to revive him. However, he said, the government has ordered the directorate of medical health and rural service to conduct a full-fledged inquiry into the matter and submit a report at the earliest. 

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