EVEN as the YCM Hospital in Pimpri failed to start its two intensive care units (ICUs) due to lack of adequate stock of oxygen cylinders, the district administration said it was taking steps to resolve the problem of oxygen supply, faced by several hospitals across the district.
The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation had decided to start two ICU units on Monday in the face of surging demand for ventilator beds in the ICU. However, PCMC Commissioner Shravan Hardikar said they could not start the two ICU units as they did not have enough stock of oxygen cylinders.
“We expect to get 300 cylinders by Wednesday night. If that happens, we will start the two ICU units on Thursday,” he said.
“There is a constant demand for ventilator beds and operationalising these two ICUs will benefit patients from Pimpri-Chinchwad and other areas,” he said.
On Monday, a 75-year-old Covid patient from Kasarwadi, who was admitted at the YCM Hospital, was asked to look for a ventilator as the ICU had no space for him. “We had to search all over Pimpri-Chinchwad to find an ICU bed. The PCMC and YCMH administration refused to take responsibility of the patient. They told us they didn’t have bed space in the ICU and we should search for it…,” said the daughter of the patient. The family finally found a vacant bed at Bhosari Hospital.
“Had the ICU been operational, we could have admitted the patient here. But we are also helpless,” said Dr Rajendra Wable, dean of YCM Hospital.
Ayush Prasad, who is holding temporary charge as Pune district collector, admitted that hospitals didn’t have adequate stock of oxygen cylinders. “There is no shortage as such but the supply of oxygen is under stress…” he said.
Prasad said hospitals were facing problems with storing ‘jumbo cylinders’ which are available in the market. He said the problem of supply will soon be resolved once a private company, which will manufacture oxygen, becomes functional. “The company is facing some electrical issues. We have decided to shut down the power supply for some 10 industrial units in Chakan area to install the electrical system for this private company. This will be done on August 15, when industrial units have an holiday,” he said. The company will manufacture 40-tonne oxygen per day.
“This is expected to resolve the oxygen supply problem,”said Prasad.
In another development, the PCMC chief said the D Y Patil Medical College will conduct a serological survey among local residents to assess the presence of antibodies, a marker to determine the extent to which the infection has spread in an area.
“We have given approval to DY Patil College to conduct the sero survey. It will focus on residential societies. We are finalising the details,” said Hardikar.
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