Updated: April 28, 2021 1:17:56 am
While the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has claimed that distress calls from private hospitals for medical oxygen have dropped by 90 per cent, at least 10-15 hospitals were in crisis mode as their oxygen stock was depleted.
“Through the day, I got at least 10-15 calls from private hospitals who said their oxygen stock had depleted…Even I run a hospital and my vendor has told me that the posssibility of getting oxygen tomorrow morning is very dim,” said Pramod Kubade, secretary of Pimpri-Chinchwad Hospital Owners Association.
However, PCMC Deputy Municipal Commissioner Smita Zagade said, “Only 4-5 private hospitals called us requesting oxygen stock. We have provided them with emergency reserved stock available with us,” Zagade said while adding that the bigger hospitals have oxygen stocks, the smaller private hospitals are facing refilling problems.
“We are taking care of them with the oxygen stock available with civic hospitals,” she said.
On Tuesday, after a private hospital sent out an SOS, PCMC officials swung into action. The hospital had reportedly asked patients to leave as it had run out oxygen.
“The hospital owner was actually lying… He had put out a message saying the life of 135 patients was in danger. When we cross-examined, there were 54 patients on oxygen support. He called up at 1.30 am. Within an hour, we provided him three cylinders. Then through the day, we provided him oxygen cylinders on demand. It seems like he had no back up cylinders and was not doing advance planning,” said Zagade, adding that the crisis situation was with only one hospital.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Vikas Dhakane said, “The situation was stable as the PCMC was doing everything possible to cater to the oxygen needs of private hospitals. The PCMC commissioner himself is coordinating with the FDA and district administration to ensure smooth supply of oxygen to hospitals in Pimpri-Chinchwad.”
He said the Oxygen Monitoring Committee set up by the civic body was closely monitoring the situation and tackling the rising demand of oxygen from private hospitals. Pimpri-Chinchwad has 135 private hospitals.
On Monday, the PCMC had claimed that distress calls were down by 90 per cent.
“Till four-five days ago, we used to get more than 100 distress call from private hospitals requiring medical oxygen. We have catered to the requirement of maximum number of hospitals. We have also set up a helpline number. The calls are now down by 90 per cent,” said Deputy Municipal Commissioner Smita Zagade.
Zagade said four tankers from two manufacturing plants of Inox and Linde, both located in Chakan, are delivering oxygen every day. “We have provided them escort and a Green Corridor from Chakan to Pimpri-Chinchwad to ensure unhindred flow of vehicles to the hospitals,” said Zagade.
She said Pimpri-Chinchwad hospitals need 55 tonnes of oxygen every day. “If private hospitals still need more oxygen, we are providing them from cylinders from our reserved stock,” she said.
She said the manufacturers have promised regular oxygen supply to hospitals in Pimpri-Chinchwad. “We are grateful to the manufacturers for rising to our demand and requests for oxygen. They have promised us regular and timely supply,” she said.
Meanwhile, in view of the rising demand for medical oxygen, Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil has issued guidelines, stating, “Hospitals should use oxygen judiciously. Only patients who require it should be administered oxygen on priority”.
“As Covid-19 cases are rising, the demand for medical oxygen is also rising. However, compared to the availability, the demand for medical oxygen is much more. As a result, we are experiencing shortage of oxygen. Therefore, it is important to use medical oxygen and ensure its proper management. We have issued necessary guidelines to hospitals to ensure judicious use of oxygen. All hospitals are requested to adhere to the guidelines,” said Patil.
In his guidelines, the civic chief has asked hospitals to first verify whether a particular patient indeed needs oxygen. The hospitals have been told to maintain patient’s saturation level at 92 per cent with required supply of oxygen, and use a mask as per the face size of the patient to stop oxygen wastage. When there is improvement in the condition of patients on oxygen or ventilator, they should be shifted to the ward without any delays. An audit of the oxygen supply should be conducted regularly, according to the directives.
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