Disruptions in distribution and storage affected the oxygen supply in Vizag

A sharp increase in the number of active COVID-19 cases in the city has put the availability of medical oxygen in hospitals at the center.

While there is no shortage of liquid medical oxygen, some problems with the distribution process and the lack of empty oxygen bottles are believed to be the reason for the unavailability of oxygen beds in hospitals.

Some private hospitals report having problems obtaining oxygen, in part due to the tremendous increase in the number of patients in need of oxygen beds and the supplies they have available, which are often depleted.

“A private registered hospital with a sanctioned oxygen bed strength of 100 has to accept almost twice as many patients in view of the enormous number of cases. The hospital procures 100 cylinders and if 10 cylinders per hour were consumed, their supply would be exhausted in 10 hours. This is forcing some of the privately registered hospitals to turn away patients in need of oxygen assistance, ”the sources said.

The ventilation beds allocated for COVID-19 patients and the intensive care units are also full most of the time. The availability of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) for the Visakhapatnam district from the Visakhapatnam steelworks (VSP) and a plant in Pharma City near Parawada is cautiously estimated to be around 160 tons.

“Time plays a key factor in the distribution network. Timely delivery is important to maintain oxygen circulation. In the current state, however, the supply is delayed by 10 to 12 hours, which disrupts the flow of oxygen to the beds. We have limited storage capacity and it can be operated around the clock if we are taken care of on time, ”said the manager of a private hospital.

The daily need for medical oxygen in the city is around 50 tons, but according to official figures the production is many times higher than the need. The total number of approved oxygen beds in the district are: 456 in six Category A hospitals and 917 in 33 Category B hospitals; There are 175 ICU beds in Category A hospitals and 384 ICU beds in Category B hospitals. There are 36 ventilators in Category A hospitals and 137 ventilators in Category B hospitals.

That being said, there are oxygen beds in state-run COVID hospitals like the Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS), King George Hospital (KGH), and the State Hospital for Breast and Communicable Diseases (GHCCD).

In the meantime, it has become known that although provisions have been made for the establishment of a total of 180 oxygen beds at the State ENT Hospital, Regional Eye Hospital and Rani Chandramani Devi (RCD) Hospital, these have not yet been operationalized, according to reports, about the unavailability of oxygen bottles .

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