Oximeters pilfered from Chittoor COVID hospital

Medical devices have been going missing from the wards of the District COVID Hospital here in the past couple of weeks.

The district headquarters hospital was transformed into a COVID hospital last year at a time when COVID cases were on a sharp rise in the western mandals. In the first wave, the hospital was more of a COVID Care Centre with ICU facility. However, devices such as pulse oximeters, humidifiers, oxygen concentrators and ventilator beds shot up in demand only during the second wave, prompting hospital authorities to either purchase the devices in bulk or seek donations to buy them in order to treat the endless influx of patients flowing into the hospital beginning in May.

Armed with sufficient equipment, hospital officials began providing oximeters and thermal guns to in-patients in good faith, merely asking them to return the equipment to the ward staff while getting discharged.

Chief administrator of the hospital, Naresh Kumar Reddy, deplored that during a recent inspection of the wards, it was found that several devices had gone missing from the beds and the loss of property could run into several lakhs of rupees.

“After being discharged, some patients managed to take the devices with them. Several fine quality bed-sheets have also gone missing from the wards. We have received information that those who got discharged are planning to sell the stolen equipment at a high price, particularly the humidifiers which are in high demand at medical stores,” he said.

The official said that the medical and paramedical staff had served the patients round the clock, providing them all facilities on a par with corporate hospitals. “It is condemnable that people could resort to such mischief causing a substantial financial loss to the hospital. If we want to procure the devices again, it would involve a tedious procedure and the shortage of equipment will now cause much inconvenience to other patients,” Mr. Reddy said, adding that digital surveillance would be stepped up to prevent such acts in the future.

Crime Today News | Andhra Pradesh


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