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KTH incident: 7 employees suspended over shortage of oxygen cylinders

PESHAWAR: Seven staff members, including the director of Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH), have been suspended following a report of alleged non-availability of oxygen cylinders at the hospital.

According to the report, faculty members, medical engineers, supply managers, biomedical engineers, and duty employees have also been suspended. The Board of Governors in its preliminary report found three people of Oxygen Plant guilty of negligence. Seven people lost their lives due to the non-receipt of oxygen in time at KTH Hospital.

The investigation report said that an officer named Waheed was on duty but no one picked up the phone as there was no officer in the oxygen room. Supervisor Oxygen Plant Nemat said the oxygen tank was empty. According to the report, the contract for oxygen supply was awarded to Pakistan Oxygen Company which did not provide the required quantity.

The report states that the employees delivered the cylinders to the isolation ward. 14 patients were transferred to the emergency department. Some patients were taken by relatives to other hospitals.

Read more: Seven patients die over shortage of oxygen cylinders in Peshawar hospital

The Board of Governors’ fact-finding report states that there was a shortage of oxygen tanks, but no steps were taken to address the shortage. There was no oxygen backup at the hospital.

The Facility Manager at KTH did not report staff absences in a timely manner, which prevented patients from receiving timely oxygen.  The Board of Governors in its report has recommended that the quality of Pakistan Oxygen Company be checked and trained staff to be deployed. In case of any emergency, a trained rescue squad will be deployed to the hospital.