Many Punjab hospitals not following ventilator user manuals, raising ‘faulty’ issue without basis: Centre

Says Faridkot hospital ventilators not faulty, lying unused due to operational issue

Many Punjab hospitals not following ventilator user manuals, raising ‘faulty’ issue without basis: Centre

Ventilators lying at GGS Medical College and Hospital in Faridkot.

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 13

The government on Thursday said there was no fault with the ventilators supplied to GGS Medical College and Hospital in Punjab’s Faridkot and the ventilators were lying unused on account of operational issues.

The Ministry of Health in a statement said several hospitals and medical colleges in Punjab had not been following ventilator user manual and guidelines and have been, instead, raising the issue of ventilators being non-functional without any basis.

“In addition to the instructions given in the user manual, detailed instructions and guidelines have also been issued to all the ventilator users regarding infrastructure requirements, proper usage and maintenance of the CV200 ventilators. However, these are not being followed by many hospitals and medical colleges in Punjab. They have been, instead, raising the issue of ventilators being non-functional without any basis,” the ministry said.

Issuing a clarification on reports that 71 of 80 AGVA make ventilators at the Faridkot hospital were non-functional or faulty, the Ministry of Health said 88 ventilators have been supplied by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and five by AGVA. 

“After successful installation and commissioning, these ventilators were provided with Final Acceptance Certificate by the hospital authorities. BEL has informed that bulk of the ventilators at GGS Medical College Hospital (GGSMCH), Faridkot, are not faulty, as are being reported in a section of the media. Their engineers have visited the said Medical College on different occasions in the past to address the complaints received and carried out minor repairs required promptly. They have even conducted repeated demonstrations of the functioning of the ventilators to the staff over there,” the Ministry said.

It said problems with the ventilators are related to infrastructure in GGSMCH, including non-availability of required pressure in the central oxygen gas pipelines. 

“Further, the consumables like flow sensors, bacteria filters and HME filters are not being changed by the hospital authorities as per the prescribed norms, or the ventilators are being used without these important consumable items. Maintenance of correct gas pressures (difference between air pressure and oxygen pressure cannot be more than 10 PSI) and use of proper consumables are essential requirements, without which performance of CV200 ventilators is not guaranteed,” the health ministry said.

The Ministry also said that BEL engineers visited GGSMCH on May 12 and made five ventilators functional only by replacing a few consumables and demonstrated their optimum performance to the GGSMCH authorities, thereby, further making it evident that when operated properly, the ventilators will provide reliable performance.

The Ministry added that BEL will continue to provide technical support required by the state in meeting the ventilator requirement during this pandemic situation.

“Union Health Ministry has written to states on May 9 informing them once again of the Helpline numbers of the ventilator manufactures, which are also available on the ventilators in the form of stickers. Information has again been provided of state-wise Whatsapp groups created with the nodal officers concerned of the states, representatives of the user Hospitals and technical teams of the manufacturers in order to address any technical issues in real time. Dedicated email IDs of these manufacturers,” said the Ministry.

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