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Sassoon General Hospital to commission oxygen-generating plant in a few days

S Chockalingam, administrator at Sassoon Hospital, said the pressure swing adsorption (PSA) method will be used to generate oxygen at the plant.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
April 23, 2021 4:40:43 am
Sassoon General Hospital, Oxygen, Pune covid-19, Pune coronavirus cases, Pune oxygen supply, Pune news, indian expressOxygen room at the Covid Centre (COVID-19 Block) in Sassoon hospital on Wednesday. (Express photo by Arul Horizon)

In view of the acute shortage of oxygen at healthcare facilities, Maharashtra’s largest government-run facility, Sassoon General Hospital, will soon commission an oxygen-generating plant.

S Chockalingam, administrator at Sassoon Hospital, said the pressure swing adsorption (PSA) method will be used to generate oxygen at the plant.

The plant, once commissioned in a couple of days, will generate 2,000 litres of oxygen per minute, which will take care of at least 200 Covid-19 patients requiring oxygen support. At present, Sassoon Hospital has two liquid oxygen tanks with capacities of 15 kilolitres and 13 kilolitres each.

Meanwhile, the supply of oxygen has been erratic for the past two to three days with several large hospitals making judicious use of their limited stock.

Oxygen saturation in the blood below the level of 94 is considered to be a matter of concern for Covid-19 patients. If it falls below a specific threshold and shortness of breath progresses to an acute condition, then oxygen therapy is required. Pune district has more than one lakh active Covid-19 cases.

This erratic supply has been a cause of concern for other hospitals. According to Dr Aniket Joshi, consulting physician treating Covid-19 patients at Hardikar, Harjeevan and other hospitals, the situation has become very difficult.

“Any break in the oxygen supply can lead to a casualty and some smaller healthcare facilities have now stopped admission. Critical cases are being referred to larger hospitals,” Dr Joshi said.

Dr Sanjay Patil, chairman of the Hospital Board of India, Pune chapter, said availability of oxygen was fast posing to be a problem. “Several small hospitals that had offered their services to treat Covid-19 patients are unsure about the uninterrupted supply of oxygen,” Dr Patil said.

According to Dr Joshi, from as many as 470 smaller hospitals treating Covid-19 patients, the number has now shot down to 380.

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At large hospitals like Ruby Hall Clinic, Medical Superintendent Dr Avdhut Bodamwad said alarm bells would start ringing if their supply goes below 10 metric tonnes. “Last week, we faced some challenges at our Hinjewadi branch but were able to meet the demand by drawing on the oxygen supply from our main Ruby Hall Clinic,” he said.

Abrari Dalal, chief operating officer, Sahyadri Hospitals, said currently their requirement was around 6,000 cubic metres across six units in Deccan, Kothrud, Hadapsar, Bibwewadi, Nagar Road and others. “Till now, we have somehow been able to manage our requirements and we are hoping that regular supply resumes,” Dalal said.

Dr Madhur Rao, senior deputy medical administrator at KEM Hospital, said, “To ensure constant supply of oxygen for our patients, we also go a little easy on high flow nasal oxygen therapy as per the guidelines of the Covid task force.”

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