• Saturday, June 25, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Three deaths at NHS Nightingale Hospital due to blocked breathing tubes

NHS Nightingale Hospital being created at the ExCeL London exhibition centre in London. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Sattwik Biswal

THREE Covid patients died at London’s NHS Nightingale Hospital last year due to the negligence of the ‘inexperienced’ staff for using wrong ventilator equipment.

One of the patients among them was Kishorkumar Patel, 58, a London bus driver, who was initially admitted to Northwick Park Hospital on April 4, 2020 before being transferred to the ExCel centre for coronavirus treatment on April 7.

After experiencing shortness of breath, coughing and fatigue – the father of six from Sudbury, north west London, who achieved a first-degree black belt in Kung Fu at the age of 55, was admitted to the hospital

MailOnline reports, Patel had no underlying health conditions, and spent 19 days in the hospital before he died on April 26.

According to reports, a total of ten patients were affected at the hospital in the ExCel Centre, Newham, East London, allegedly after the staff left their intensive care ventilators without heat and moisture exchange (HME) filters.

HME filters are placed at the patient’s end of the breathing system in order to humidify the airway in the machine and prevent the build of mucus, which in turn can block a patient’s airways and endotracheal (ET) tube.

But due to the staff error, wrong filter were put in the ventilation circuits instead, which led to the breathing tubes in three patients getting blocked and saw all of them ‘suffer harm’ and require re-intubation.

All three patients died after the incident occurred.

The findings are among a catalogue of issues that have emerged since the Nightingale, which was hailed during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, was shut down last year after treating just 54 patients.

However, it has not been determined whether the filter incidents contributed to the deaths, it is believed the same staff error occurred in all ten cases.

A Serious Incident Report (SIR) sent to the family later described how medical staff discovered heat and moisture exchange filters had not been used in his intensive care ventilator – resulting in a lack of any humidification in the machine.

The incident would have ‘reduced effectiveness’ of the ventilator and ‘contributed to Mr Patel’s deterioration on April 19’, a letter to the family from Barts Health NHS Trust also added.

A Barts Health spokesman said that despite ‘investigating the circumstances and changing their practices’ they ‘did not believe the filter was a direct cause of Patel’s death’.

But the spokesman did not comment on whether it was a contributing factor in the death, and instead pointed to the upcoming inquest, which will be held on October 4.

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