Delhi hospitals continue to send SOS for oxygen 


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Additional allocation of oxygen to Delhi has failed to provide a breather to several hospitals and Covid facilities in the national capital, which has been gasping for the living saving gas for almost a week, amid steep rise in corona cases. Even on Sunday, prominent private hospitals and nursing homes continued sending SOS messages seeking help.

In an apparent desperate move, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, which has 100 patients on oxygen support, placed a notice that the it will run out of oxygen on Sunday. Another private hospital in north Delhi’s Model Town area, Pentamed Hospital, also struggled to tide over the oxygen crisis.   Late in the evening, Jaipur Golden Hospital also tweeted about its fast depleting oxygen stock. This is where 25 people died due to shortage of medical oxygen on Friday.

The notice titled Fortis Escorts Heart Institute will run out of Oxygen today put up by the Fortis Hospital read, “We had timely escalated this impending situation to all authorities and are waiting for promised supplies since yesterday. At the moment we are out of options and suspending new admissions and ER services. We are trying to manage the admitted patients to the best of our abilities.”The hospital administration didn’t respond to multiple calls made to seek their response.

On the other hand, when the Pentamed Hospital didn’t get oxygen supply despite sending requests to the district administration, its Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tarqueem Haider, announced that the hospital is left with stock, which is only for 45 minutes. “We have appealed to almost everybody in the government; district Magistrate and Delhi police but we have not received the supply. We have a requirement of 100-150 cylinders per day but we are getting only 20 to 25 cylinders,” he said.

The hospital has 50 patients on oxygen support. Till evening, it had not received the supply. After Chief Minister Arvind Kerjiwal flagged the crisis of oxygen, the Central government had increased Delhi’s quota from 378 metric tonnes (MT) to 480 (MT), which was further enhanced by 10 MT. As the sources in the government, only 330-335 MT oxygen reached Delhi on Sunday. However, according to the CM, the city’s requirement is 700 MT.

Out of 50 patients at Pentamed Hospital, 10 are on ventilator support and around 10-15 are on high oxygen demand. The Delhi government’s one of the Covid hospitals– Lok Nayak (LN) Hospital received its supply of the life-saving gas around 10 am on Sunday. The facility was running on its backup stock of oxygen. LN hospital’s medical Director Dr Suresh Kumar said, “We had exhausted our oxygen stock and were using the backup which would have lasted for two hours only.”

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital received five (MT) of oxygen in the early hours of Sunday at 4:15 am, which was the highest volume of the gas the hospital has received in the last three days in one refill. There were 130 patients in the ICU, including 30 on invasive ventilation, when the SOS was sent. Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on Friday reported the death of 25 of its ‘sickest’ patients as the administration grappled with depleting oxygen supplies.

Ganga Ram gets normal oxygen pressure after 3 days
With nine metric tonnes of oxygen supplied to it on Sunday, officials at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said it is the first time in three days that all patients are getting the life-saving gas at “normal pressure”. The elite hospital in central Delhi received three oxygen refills, totalling 9 MT, between 4:30 am and 6:30 pm. “The oxygen pressure remained below normal for the last three days. This is the first time in this period that normal pressure has been achieved,” an official said. The hospital received 3 MT of oxygen around 6 pm, which will last up to midnight.

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