Pvt. Hospitals press panic button

Patients in need of oxygen are turned away from hospitals citing inadequate care

An industrial department official laughed at the suggestion of a lack of medical oxygen in the city. The liquid medical oxygen (LMO) produced in the Visakhapatnam Steel Mill (VSP) alone is enough to meet the needs not only of Visakhapatnam but of the whole of Andhra Pradesh.

However, the basic reality seems to be different. Some designated COVID hospitals are pressing the panic button, suggesting that any moment their oxygen supply may dry up and wipe out the lives of COVID-19 patients depending on oxygen support. Relatives of patients claim that even in government hospitals, the situation is bad and patients have to wait outside for an oxygen bed to be cleared.

An 18-month-old girl was reportedly given oxygen for about an hour in the ambulance outside a government hospital, and when she was finally rushed to the hospital, she couldn’t be sustained for long. However, officials deny there is a shortage of medical oxygen.

Officials had planned to add oxygen beds at three government hospitals when COVID-19 cases rose last year. The pipelines to supply oxygen to the beds were moved, but as the number of cases decreased, the proposal took a back seat. “These additional oxygen beds will be operational soon,” says DM & HO P. Suryanarayana The Hinduwhen his attention is drawn to the subject.

Some private hospitals report having problems obtaining oxygen, in part due to the increase in patients requiring oxygen beds.

“A privately registered hospital with a sanctioned oxygen bed strength of 100 has to admit almost double that number in view of the increasing number of cases. The hospital procures 100 cylinders and at 10 per hour it would run out of supplies in 10 hours. This is forcing some hospitals to turn away patients in need of oxygen, ”the sources say. The ventilation beds and intensive care units are also full most of the time.

Proportion of the district

The availability of LMO for the Visakhapatnam district from production in the Visakhapatnam steelworks (VSP) and a plant in Pharma City near Parawada will be around 160 tons according to conservative estimates.

According to official information, the daily need for medical oxygen in the city is around 50 tons. The total approved oxygen beds in the district are: 456 in six Category A hospitals and 917 in 33 Category B hospitals, ICU beds 175 and 384, and ventilators 36 and 137, respectively.Aside from that, there are oxygen beds in state COVID hospitals such as the Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS), King George Hospital (KGH), and Government 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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