'I'm unable to breathe': In last message to father, COVID-19 patient at Hyderabad's govt hospital claims oxygen supply was discontinued

In a video message to his father hours before his death, a patient alleged that he was not being administered oxygen while being treated at Hyderabad's Government Chest Hospital, where he was admitted after exhibiting COVID-19 symtpoms

FP Staff June 29, 2020 13:57:48 IST
'I'm unable to breathe': In last message to father, COVID-19 patient at Hyderabad's govt hospital claims oxygen supply was discontinued

A video of a coronavirus patient, undergoing treatment at Hyderabad’s Government Chest Hospital, in which sends a last message to his father alleging his oxygen supply was removed by the staff went viral.

"Am not able to breathe. Though I pleaded, they did not continue oxygen for the last three hours. I am not able to breathe anymore, it's like my heart has stopped. Bye daddy. Bye to all, daddy," 35-year-old Ravi Kumar is seen saying in the video, also alleging that when he confronted the hospital staff, he was told “you’ve had enough”. An hour after recording the video on Friday, the patient succumbed, bringing focus on the abysmal health facilities even as India recorded over 5 lakh cases as of Sunday.

"My son asked for help, but no one helped him. I saw the video only after I returned home after the last rites, and he said 'bye daddy. Why was my son denied oxygen? Did anyone else need it urgently and so they took it away from him?" the father told NDTV.

However, the hospital’s superintendent Mahboob Khan said that the patient succumbed due to cardiac complications which caused his death and was not directly linked to the virus. He said that oxygen support was provided to the patient and that he was seen with nasal prongs even in the video he recorded. “The patient suffered from a heart attack which was induced by COVID-19,” he told The Hindu.

Khan also claimed that the patient was in such a critical stage that he could not feel the oxygen. “Usually, aged people die because of the collapse of the lungs infected by COVID-19. But we are seeing a new phenomenon of people in the age group of 25-40 years succumbing because of viral infection in the heart. They are provided oxygen but they feel it insufficient,” he told Hindustan Times.

The patient was admitted to the government hospital in Erragadda on 24 June after at least 10 private hospitals refused admission, asking for a test first, his father said. He was also refused testing by a diagnostics centre that had reached a limit of testing 150 people per day, from where they went to another lab, according to NewsMinute.

Even though his last rites were performed the same day as his death, his father was informed by a private hospital where his swab samples were submitted that he had died due to COVID-19. However, his six family members, including the man's parents, wife, brother, sister-in-law and brother-in-law, have not been tested yet.

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