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Thursday, May 06, 2021

What keeps doctors, Amritsar admin on toes: Fear of O2 trucks meeting an accident or flat tyre

Amid a daily scramble for medical oxygen, doctors revealed, the sometimes the difference between O2 supply left and the arrival of a tanker is barely minutes.

Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Amritsar |
May 1, 2021 7:32:12 am
An oxygen tanker and ambulance are stuck in traffic. (Express Photo: Harmeet Sodhi, File)

Medical emergencies are not the only thing that worry doctors and those incharge of managing oxygen supply at Amritsar’s Guru Nanak Dev Hospital (GNDH) these days. They also pray that oxygen tankers on way to the hospital don’t meet any accident and arrive on time as they travel from Panipat in Haryana and Paunta Sahib in Himachal Pradesh.

Amid a daily scramble for medical oxygen, doctors revealed, the sometimes the difference between O2 supply left and the arrival of a tanker is barely minutes.

GMC Principal Rajiv Kumar Devgan said, “Earlier we used have oxygen in abundance. So we never cared about the factors that could now decide between life and death. Now we are worried for the waste of oxygen in many ways like leakage of pipes. Also sometimes patients remove oxygen mask to go to washroom and we ensure that oxygen is paused for that time. We don’t want oxygen to get waste for any reason. Right now oxygen is too precious for us. There is high demand of oxygen. But everything is dependent on the supply.”

“We are always afraid of road accidents that trucks carrying oxygen supply could meet on their way to Amritsar. There could be many reasons that delay or abort the oxygen supply through trucks. When oxygen doesn’t reach on time then we try to arrange cylinders from here and there till trucks arrive. So we remain under huge pressure to maintain the smooth supply from Panipat or Himachal to Amritsar. We even remain concerned about possibility of puncture in truck tyres,” said a district administration official.

Police is also providing security to these oxygen trucks.

“We are providing security to the oxygen tankers. This arrangement is looked after at the state-level. Every district police provides escort to the oxygen tankers and we receive these tankers on the border of Amritsar. It is to ensure that tanker reaches on time. We are also providing security to five oxygen plants in Amritsar and to movement of oxygen within district,” said a police spokesman.

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