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COVID-19 patients dying in hospitals during Tehran’s blackouts

Iran doctor says COVID-19 patients dying in hospitals during Tehran’s blackouts

Iranian hospitalIran News Wire - July 5, 2021: An Iranian doctor told a state-run news agency that COVID-19 patients on ventilators have passed away during Tehran’s blackouts. Speaking to Rokna, Dr. Mohammad-Reza Hashemian said between the time electricity goes out and the emergency power kicks in, hospital patients on ventilators face life-threatening conditions and have even died.

Dr. Hashemian, an ICU specialist at Tehran’s Masih Daneshvari Hospital, posted a video on his Instagram account showing patients on ventilators in critical condition during a blackout.

The voice heard in the video which shows three patients in the dark CCU rooms of an Iranian hospital says patients are “expiring” because the emergency power has not been connected. The video, which has been circulating on social media, has caused outrage.

This is while Hossein Sabouri, the Head of the Greater Tehran Power Distribution Company had said before that the electricity would not be cut off “under any circumstances” in hospitals.

“This time a video was published but we have faced these kinds of scenes many times in the past,” Dr. Hashemian told Rokna.

“When oxygen is cut off, some ventilators stop working correctly. Some ventilators which work with turbines become completely useless. This has a very bad effect on patients. When this happens, sometimes patients suffering from COVID-19 die before healthcare workers can fix the oxygen. We have said this many times but unfortunately, the Ministry of Health refuses to publish the details surrounding the deaths of COVID-19 patients,” Dr. Hashemian said.   

He also said the Health Ministry had bought ventilators without coordinating or checking with relevant experts.

“A ventilator is not like a TV which works without any problems after being connected to an emergency power source. The quality of the ventilator drops and oxygen pressure decreases leading to the death of patients,” he said.

When asked what percent of COVID-19 patients in Iran had died during blackouts he said he did not know and that the Ministry of Health had not announced the detailed reason behind the death of COVID-19 patients.

“This is part of the classified secrets of the Health Ministry which will not be announced under any circumstances,” Dr. Hashemian added.

Tehran’s blackouts have angered Iranians living in the capital and other cities. Locals say the blackouts are unorganized and unannounced. Last night, Iranians chanted against the regime’s Supreme Leader during a blackout in western and eastern Tehran.