April 24, 2021 1:22:30 am
Following a couple of instances of private hospitals coming close to running out of their oxygen supply this week, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday issued updated guidelines to its officials to ensure thorough preparedness to avert a repeat of the crisis.
As part of this, chief engineers of the BMC’s mechanical and electric (M&E) departments have been asked to prepare a data sheet containing ward-wise details of all private Covid-19 hospitals, their oxygen suppliers and types of cylinders available with them.
According to the circular, the hospitals should place a request for oxygen supply at least 24 hours in advance.
“Hospitals must raise demand for oxygen from their suppliers at least 24 hours before their stocks are going to exhaust. If there is no supply even 16 hours after making the demand, then the hospital must inform the ward control room. Officials there will follow up with the supplier and ensure that the supply is made on time. If it is not possible to get oxygen supply even after that, the officials will inform the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) control room,” the new SOP (standard operating procedure) stated.
Four senior civic officials — deputy municipal (special) commissioner Sanjog Kabre, chief engineer Krishna Parekar, executive engineer Sanjay Shinde and medical officer Dr Haridas Rathod — have been appointed as the coordinating officers for oxygen supply to hospitals. These officials have been tasked to ensure that the new guidelines are followed by all hospitals.
The guidelines come after two instances of hospitals running out of oxygen were reported this week.
On Wednesday, a shortage of oxygen supply at private-run HJ Doshi Ghatkopar Hindu Mahasabha Hospital in Ghatkopar caused a scare for 61 Covid-19 patients. BMC said that the hospital approached the civic body for help only a few hours before the existing supply was to exhaust.
Last Saturday, BMC shifted 168 Covid-19 patients from six civic hospitals, due to a shortage of oxygen supply, to other hospitals. Ward war rooms have also been tasked to keep a tab on supply in hospitals in their respective wards.
“Officials from the ward control rooms will be in touch with hospitals and keep a tab on oxygen supply and usage. 24 Assistant Municipal Commissioners have been asked to direct their staff to get in touch with hospitals in their wards,” stated the SOP.
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