More than 100 ventilators supplied under PM CARES fund in Jammu and Kashmir have been found defective and “unfit for critical care” on trial runs. The ventilators supplied to the Government Medical College, Srinagar, were manufactured by three different companies. According to doctors, a trial run is not done on every machine. For every company, tests are conducted on a few machines to check the quality. The government said an inquiry will be ordered to fix the responsibility.
A query filed under the Right To Information Act has revealed that the Medical College received the ventilators under PM CARES Fund to deal with the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. But these ventilators could be used for critical care because they had serious technical flaws.
In the RTI reply, the hospital’s Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine listed the technical problems which make the machines unfit for use for critical care management.
The 37 Bharat ventilators received had “compressor/heat up problems”, which resulted in sudden shutdowns. The machines were returned.
The three Agva ventilators are not functional either due to other problems like “display not working properly, problem in generating tidal volume”.
Two of the 125 ventilators at the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) hospital that were put on trial were seen to have problems of tidal volume (volume of air delivered to the lungs) and oxygen flow. It was also seen that the ventilators stop automatically, which can put patients at risk.
Another 22 Agva ventilators stationed at the DRDO hospital are under trial, the response from the Anaestheiology Department read.
The government has said that an inquiry will be ordered. “At this point, I can only say we will investigate it. A probe will be ordered to find out why defective ventilators were supplied,” Vivik Bhardawaj, Additional Chief Secretary Health told NDTV.