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SVIMS to ramp up oxygen supply ahead of third wave
- Two oxygen generators with 500 LPM and 1,000 LPM are being set up
- These plants will take atmospheric air to extract medical oxygen which can be used as stand-by to liquid oxygen
Tirupati: In view of huge increase in oxygen consumption during Covid second wave across the country and amid indications of possible third wave to hit anytime, the focus has now completely shifted towards ramping up the oxygen supply capacities in various hospitals.
While one oxygen generator with the capacity of producing 1,000 litres per minute (LPM) was inaugurated at Ruia government hospital in Tirupati at a cost of around Rs 1.20 crore, two such facilities are coming up at SVIMS very soon. SVIMS Director-cum-Vice Chancellor Dr B Vengamma told The Hans India that one donor has come forward to donate 500 LPM oxygen generator for which the installation works will be completed in the next few days. This uses PSA technology (Pressure swing adsorption) which takes atmospheric air and extracts medical oxygen. It is being installed at the old block of the Institute.
She said that another oxygen generator plant with 1,000 LPM will be installed at the new block for which civil works are undergoing. This was sanctioned by the state government. With oxygen generators in place, the oxygen can be provided to patients till liquid oxygen supply restores and is considered as the best alternative in emergencies.
SVIMS already has two liquid oxygen tanks – one at the old block and another at the new block. According to the Director, when the per day requirement itself was more than 11 or 12 KL at the new block, an additional 10 KL tanker was installed at the new block which was donated by Sri City. During the peak of second wave of pandemic, the oxygen consumption in SVIMS per day was to the tune of 16-17 KL. But, as the cases have come down significantly now, the oxygen requirement also fell to around 4.5 KL per day, she said.
It is learnt that these oxygen generators can be used as stand-by when liquid oxygen supply is not available in time. However, liquid oxygen is the best for medical uses which has the highest purity when compared to oxygen produced by PSA technology.
Yet, liquid oxygen involves transportation and other issues which were experienced two months ago in Ruia hospital where the delayed supply has cost the lives of 23 patients.
In SVIMS also, the supplier has expressed inability at that time following the instructions from Tamil Nadu government. Following this, the officials have made alternate arrangements to avoid any problems.