MOSCOW-Moscow has begun investigating the safety of a Russian-made medical ventilator, some of which have been sent to the United States, after six people died in hospital fires reported to involve two such machines.
Emergency services work at the site of a fire at the Saint George hospital in Saint Petersburg on May 12, 2020.
NY and New Jersey, out of an abundance of caution, will return Aventa-M ventilators the United States received from Russian Federation last month, after reports that ventilators of the same model could have been a cause of the deadly fire in Saint-Petersburg, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) spokeswoman Janet Montesi said on Tuesday.
They say more than 5.6 million tests have been conducted.
Dr. Valery Strizheletsky, head of St. George Hospital, said a ventilator in an ICU caught fire right in front of another doctor.
The US State Department didn't respond to comment on whether the ventilator model is being used in US hospitals, CNBC reported.
Fifteen other patients in the unit, also on ventilators, were saved from the fire, Interfax news agency reported. Local reports said that an overloaded ventilator might have caused the fire.
Russia's state health care watchdog, Rossdravnadzor, said in a statement Tuesday it was looking into "the quality and the safety" of ventilators that are being used in both hospitals. She added the ventilators "have not been deployed to hospitals".
Hospital head Valery Strizheletsky said staff acted quickly and managed to avoid more casualties, including by evacuating 15 patients from intensive care.
However, according to the Russian government, the country's hospitals have enough ventilators to deal with the growing number of coronavirus patients. Putin said Monday that only "a small fraction" of Russia's ventilator stockpile is now being used.
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