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Man Dies After Family Unplugs Ventilator For An A/C Unit

Coronavirus particle, illustration. Different strains of coronavirus are responsible for diseases such as the common cold, gastroenteritis and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). A new coronavirus (2019-CoV) emerged in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The virus causes a mild respiratory illness that can develop into pneumonia and be fatal in some cases. The coronaviruses take their name from their crown (corona) of surface proteins, which are used to attach and penetrate their host cells. Once inside the cells, the particles use the cells' machinery to make more copies of the virus.

The relatives of a suspected COVID-19 patient in India allegedly unplugged his ventilator to use an air conditioner at a sweltering hospital, killing him. The unidentified patient, a 40-year-old man at Maharao Bhimsingh Hospital in Kota was admitted into an ICU unit on June 13th as doctors believed he had contracted the bug. Two days later, the man was transferred to an isolation ward as a safety precaution since another ICU patient had tested positive for coronavirus. The man’s relatives then took an air conditioner to the hospital – as daytime temps reportedly topped out at 106 degrees — and unplugged the ventilator after not finding an open socket to cool down the room. Hospital staff had deactivated air conditioners in the unit in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. The ventilator had a backup battery, but the man’s relatives didn’t tell doctors or nurses that they unplugged it. An investigation is underway.

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