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Power outage in Covid-19 hospital forces manual operation of respirators

Panic broke out at “Gennimatas” hospital in Thessaloniki on Friday following a power outage and the failure of the supporting generator. The lives of several Covid-19 patients in oxygen support were at risk as the supply in ICUs ceased.

As the power outage lasted one hour, medical and nursing staff were forced to operate respirators manually as only 5 out of 17 respirators work with battery.

Also a second generator did not work.

Th unprecedented incident took place on Friday noon, and resulted in immediate danger of patients treated in Intensive Care units.

The generator failed to start and did not work at all during the outage.

“Over 50 cases of covid-19 are treated in the old wing of Gennimatas, patients who have increased needs for oxygen, and therefore increased needs for electricity,” the president of Hospital Workers Union (POEDYN), Michalis Giannakos told Mega TV on Monday

“The management of the hospital has not made any contract for the maintenance of the generator since August,” he added.

The general manager of the hospital blamed the previous hospital administration for the problem.

Monday afternoon, the hospital issued a statement claiming that at no point the patients’ lives were at risk “as the shift perosnnel was enchanced with one per patient. The hospital dismissed the media reports on the issue that was reported also by state-run media like ERT TV. However, it admitted that the generators did not work and said that the problem will be investigated.

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