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Bengaluru: Private hospitals face oxygen shortage

Private hospitals face oxygen shortage
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Private hospitals face oxygen shortage

Highlights

‘We are facing a high demand for oxygen supply’

When will govt set up oxygen plants?

On August 18, around 50 Covid-19 patients were shifted from the Kempe Gowda Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) to three shifted Bowring and Victoria hospitals. All the 50 were oxygen-dependent coronavirus patients

♦ Earlier, 17 patients were shifted from C.V. Raman Hospital in Indiranagar to other hospitals

♦ Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar stated that the government will set up oxygen plants at all hospitals across the state

Bengaluru: It is not just the government hospitals, even some corporate hospitals are facing shortage of liquid oxygen supply.

Several hospital managements that The Hans India spoke to admitted that there is shortage of liquid oxygen. Their confession comes in the wake of shortage of liquid oxygen at Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) hospitals that led to the shifting of at least 50 patients to various hospitals in the city.

ACE Suhas Hospital Dr Jagadish Hiremath attributed the problem to sudden lack of workers to transport the liquid oxygen. "The oxygen requirement of Covid-19 patients is high. Some patients in ICUs are on High Flow Oxygen Devices. They need anywhere between 40 to 80 litres of oxygen per minute which is roughly 60,000 to 120,000 litres of oxygen per day.

If five patients are on HFODs, they would require around three to five lakh litres of oxygen per day. There is a massive requirement of liquid oxygen in this pandemic time as compared to regular days. As the Covid-19 cases swell so do the need for liquid oxygen.

Oxygen management in a big hospital is a tough asking. Supplies can go dry within no time if they are not managed properly. Any slight oversight can be disastrous for the patients who require oxygen and respiratory management devices, including a ventilator."

ACE Suhas Hospital Jigani runs a 10-beded ICU for Covid-19 patients but boasts of having a back-up plan to avoid any eventuality. "We have three HFODs. Usually, two patients always need High Flow Nasal oxygen on a regular basis which leads to a consumption of nearly 1.5 to 2.5 lakh liters of oxygen per day," he said.

Regal Hospital also echoed similar concerns. The hospital's top management admitted that the demand for oxygen has increased phenomenally and that the current infrastructure is inadequate to fulfil the demand.

"We have never anticipated that there would be such a huge demand for oxygen. The current infrastructure is not sufficient to meet the demand. Supply is limited compared to demand. That said, we have never experienced shortage or disruption in oxygen supplies. We have turned into using liquid oxygen tanks with large capacity in lieu of oxygen gas.

Therefore, the frequent replacement of oxygen cylinders is not necessary. With regard to the pricing, the rates have slightly gone up. At Regal, we have a dedicated team that ensures and manages the oxygen supply," Dr Suri Raju V, CEO of Regal Hospital, explained.

The officials in the KC General hospital also admit that the high demand has led them to keep a person who has to monitor the availability and ramp up the facilities to avert the repeat of KIMS happening.

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