October 22, 2023 Israel-Hamas war news

Many infants relying on ventilators would not survive an interruption of electricity in Gaza, a senior doctor in the besieged coastal enclave has warned, as he painted a grim picture of the situation at his hospital.

In a video released by the Gaza Ministry of Health on Sunday, Dr. Fu’ad al-Bulbul, head of the neonatal department unit at Al-Shifa hospital, said any stop of the electricity supply would be “catastrophic.”

“Most of [the] babies depend[ing] on ventilators will die because we can save only one [or] two babies but, we cannot save all babies,” he said.

Al-Bulbul spoke amid concerns that fuel supplies essential to keeping hospital generators on and electricity running are perilously low. Earlier Sunday, the UN agency aiding Palestine refugees (UNRWA) cautioned that its fuel reserves will deplete in three days, jeopardizing humanitarian efforts in Gaza.

The nursery at Al-Shifa hospital, which has 45 incubators, predominantly cares for preterm babies resulting from high-risk pregnancies, al-Bulbul said.  

“Unfortunately, at the moment we have not any medical supply — the essential drugs which is essential drugs as lifesaving for baby in the first two hours of life,” he said.  

Highlighting the severe shortage of essential medicines, the doctor revealed they had run out of surfactant and had used their last vial of caffeine citrate on Sunday.  

The unit is overwhelmed with caseloads, most infants are critically ill and the medical team has worked 18 straight days, leaving them exhausted, he added.