Investigations by GhanaWeb have revealed that death cases at the Tamale Teaching Hospital are rising due to the absence of oxygen at the hospital.
Checks at the teaching hospital indicate that at least five patients who needed oxygen support may have died between Saturday, February 18, and Sunday, February 19, alone.
The patients included emergency and critical surgery patients who needed urgent oxygen support.
A relative of one of the deceased who spoke on condition of anonymity told GhanaWeb on Sunday that “my father needed oxygen support, he was in a critical condition, yet they kept telling us there was no oxygen. The old man died, while grasping for breath.”
Another relative of a patient said doctors kept telling them they, as doctors, had nothing to do with the situation because it was the hospital’s administration that was responsible for the current situation.
“My brother We have urgent, emergency and critical surgery cases, yet the Doctors are telling us there’s no oxygen. The doctors said hospital administration is responsible, yet they are not responding quickly.
“In my brother’s case, we were referred from Habanna Hospital yesterday with the indication that his surgery has to be as soon as the Ambulance took us there, because “every minute counts” quote from the doctor. It’s over 24hrs now, he is still lying there, not done,” the patient’s relative said.
Even though the Tamale Teaching Hospital has an oxygen plant, GhanaWeb’s investigations revealed that the plant has been dysfunctional for some time now, leaving the hospital to rely on a private supplier in town.
However, the supplier’s plant has also not been working for some time.
A hospital source told GhanaWeb the situation was worrying because many people die at the TTH because of oxygen related issues.
The death, according to our source has normally been attributable to the lack of oxygen or the lack of oxygen filled mobile oxygen cylinders.
“People die many needless deaths here. The deaths have normally been attributable to the lack of oxygen or the lack of oxygen filled mobile oxygen cylinders” he said.
Meanwhile management of the hospital has said it regrets the inconvenience the lack of oxygen supply has brought.
A statement signed by Acting Chief Executive of the Hospital, Dr Atiku Adam on Monday February 20 said management has put in place two intervention strategies to see to the supply of oxygen to the hospital immediately by engaging the Tamale Central Hospital as well as augmenting of the capacity internal production unit.
It assured that there will be optimal quantities of oxygen, hopefully by the close of work on Tuesday.
Read the statement from the hospital below: