Tuesday 11 May 2021

Power cut stopped oxygen machines, two coronavirus patients die

Karin Faber talks to reporters. Photo: Marcel van Hoorn ANP

At least one person may have died after a power cut stopped a machine giving extra oxygen to coronavirus patients on a small ward, Maastricht University’s teaching hospital said on Sunday.

‘It has become clear that the power cut played a role in the death of one patient,’ Maastricht UMC patient care chief Karin Faber told a news conference. ‘We are not sure about the second patient but we cannot rule it out.’

The power cut, affecting one ward with four patients, took place on Thursday night and was discovered around midnight. The emergency power supply did not kick in because the power cut was so localised, officials said.

Two patients, aged 67 and 76, died after the machinery stopped working. The other two did not experience any serious problems.

Relatives of the two people who died have called for an independent inquiry.

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