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2 hospital patients die of burns sustained when one lit up cigarette while on oxygen

Family of Rami Nori, 81, who was in a bed next to the smoker, accuses Sheba Medical Center of negligence for not having fire extinguishing systems in place; Sheba denies charges

A man smokes a cigarette (Orel Cohen/ Flash90)
Illustrative: A man smokes a cigarette (Orel Cohen/ Flash90)

Two patients at Sheba Medical Center, who were injured in a fire that broke out last month when one of them lit a cigarette while connected to an oxygen tank, have died.

The family of one of the men, Rami Nuri, 81, is expected to sue the hospital for negligence, the Kan public broadcaster reported Sunday.

The Nuri family claims, among other things, that there were no sprinklers or smoke detectors in Rami’s room. The family also asserts that had it been known that the other patient, 66, intended to smoke a cigarette while connected to an oxygen supply, it might have been possible to do something to prevent the tragedy, according to the report.

Tamir Noy, Nuri’s son, posted on Facebook it was a “crazy failure” on the part of the hospital.

“There are no fire extinguishing systems in the hospital like sprinklers and smoke detectors,” he wrote on Friday. “Because of this irresponsible fire, I lost my father.”

Nuri was hospitalized with COVID-19. The fire broke out on April 18 when the patient in the bed next to him, who was connected to an oxygen tank, lit up a cigarette, causing a rapid flareup that scorched the entire room.

Both men suffered severe burns and died at the end of last week.

Sheba Medical Center confirmed in a statement that the fire was caused by a patient on oxygen lighting a cigarette, but noted that “the smoke detector in the ward… sounded the fire alarm as required.”

Staff reacted immediately, the hospital said, and the result of an investigation into the incident will be delivered to the Health Ministry.

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