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Three Covid patients die in 'Victor Babes' Hospital's mobile ICU following oxygen system malfunction


Three Covid patients have died at the mobile Intensive Care Unit of the 'Victor Babes' Hospital in Bucharest, apparently due to the malfunction of the oxygen supply system, the Health Ministry informed on Monday.

"The Ministry was informed via the Operational Center for Emergency Situations that three patients lost their lives at the mobile Intensive Care Unit run under the coordination of the Interior Ministry's Department for Emergency Situations, and technically operated by the 'Victor Babes' National Institute," the Ministry informed.

The ventilators of the mobile Intensive Care Unit located on the grounds of the 'Victor Babes' Bucharest Hospital stopped working due to the rise of the oxygen pressure above the allowed limit; a technical investigation is underway into the causes of the failure, the Department for Emergency Situations (DSU) announced on Monday evening, following the death of three Covid patients at the respective unit.

"The medical staff of the mobile Intensive Care Unit became aware of the concomitant failure of all the ventilators in the container and informed the technical team of the hospital that they have an overpressure alarm, specifically a rise in pressure past 6 bar, the maximum allowed limit for the correct and safe operation of this medical equipment. After checking the oxygen pressure in the mobile unit, the ventilators remained in failure mode. The representative of the ventilator selling company, who arrived at the scene, refused to enter the unit although he was offered complete Covid protective equipment, and eventually left the hospital premises without stepping into the mobile unit," the Emergency Department said in a statement.

According to the cited source, a verification is currently underway to determine the causes that led to the increase of the oxygen pressure beyond the maximum admissible limit.

"The inspection of the ventilators, following the breakdown, showed that they stopped working following a registered increase in pressure beyond 6 bar. The unit operates under the joint coordination of the Department for Emergency Situations and of the hospital, and the continuous regulation of the working parameters, of the mobile unit's oxygen supply system, the monitoring thereof and the technical operation of the facility is done by the technical team of the hospital," the DSU statement shows.

Another five patients who were also treated at the unit were immediately transferred to other facilities - one to another ward of the 'Victor Babes' Hospital, and four to the ROL2 Hospital in Otopeni, the 'Bagdasar-Arseni' Emergency Clinical Hospital and the Floreasca Hospital, the Health Ministry said.

"The Health Minister was at the site and was informed about the condition of the patients and the causes of the incident," the statement reads. 


The Bucharest General Department of Police  – Department Homicide announced on Monday that,under the coordination of the Prosecutor’s office  has started  investigation with regard to the death of the three patients at the Mobile Unit of Intensive Care operated technically by the Institute ‘Victor Babes’. According to the press release, the investigation aims at establishing the cause and conditions under which the death happened.


Prime Minister Florin Citu offered on Monday night his condolences to the families of the three Covid patients who died earlier in the day at the mobile Intensive Care Unit of the 'Victor Babes' Hospital in Bucharest, following a malfunction of the oxygen supply system. Citu announced that he asked the Minister of the Interior to initiate a fast investigation into the case for all those who will be found guilty to be held accountable.


The Premier added that in the war with the Covid pandemic, hospitals and intensive care units in particular are under very high pressure, and therefore the help of all the society's actors is needed, emphasizing that vaccination is the only way out of this tough situation.