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Ghaziabad to procure more high-flow oxygen system to aid patient recoveries

By Peeyush Khandelwal, Ghaziabad
PUBLISHED ON JUL 28, 2020 11:35 PM IST

The Ghaziabad health department, in order to keep the fatality rate low, has planned to purchase more high-flow nasal cannula — an oxygen supply system capable of delivering up to 100% humidified and heated oxygen at a flow rate of up to 60 liters per minute.

Officials said that during the last one month, 20 patients were administered oxygen with high-flow nasal cannulas and 19 of them recovered.

The Ghaziabad district has so far witnessed 64 deaths, of which 51 were added in the month of June. Only four deaths had been reported between March to May. The present fatality rate of the district stands at 1.35% as on July 28 ,out of total 4,708 Covid-19 cases. The officials said that their experience with high-flow nasal cannulas has shown positive results while dealing with patients requiring critical care in L3 hospital.

The L1 hospitals deal with asymptomatic patients while the L2 hospitals treat Covid-19 patients having mild or moderate symptoms. The L3 hospitals on the other hand are meant for patients having severe complications and require critical care.

“At present we have only three high-flow nasal cannulas available at our L3 hospital, while the L2 has none. The three high-flow nasal cannula units were provided to the L3 hospital during the last week of June. In one month time, we treated 20 patients with it and there was only one fatality. All the remaining 19 patients recovered,” said an officer from the health department

“So, we have now planned to buy 20 units of high-flow nasal cannulas, eight each of which will be given to our L2 category hospital and to ESIC hospital, which is getting converted from L1 to L2 category. The remaining four will go to our L3 hospital,” the officer, said, adding that high value drugs like Remdesivir will also be procured.

Medical experts said that high-flow nasal cannulas have shown better results than the ventilator systems for patients who are infected with Covid-19.

“The high-flow nasal cannulas, unlike the ventilator systems, is non-invasive and helps in supplying high quantity of oxygen to patients. Their usage has shown improved results. Further, it also does not require team of experts to handle the equipment, unlike specialised staff required to handle ventilators. In Ghaziabad, there were hardly any high-flow nasal cannulas available during initial days of Covid-19 spread. If the health department is planning to purchase more units, it will help during treatment of critical patients,” said Dr VB Jindal, president of Indian Medical Association, Ghaziabad.

“In the ventilator systems, the oxygen supply is invasive and may result in trauma or injury to lungs if oxygen is supplied with high level of force. So, ideally the decision for purchase of more high-flow nasal cannula units is encouraging and should help L2 and L3 hospitals,” he added.

After the UP government directed for home isolation facility for asymptomatic patients, the Ghaziabad authorities are focussing more on strengthening the facilities in L2 and L3 hospitals.

“We have introduced early identification, early testing and early referral of Covid-19 patients and as a result our case fatality rate has come down considerably. The demand for equipment by the health department will be taken care of and all available funds will be provided for purchase,” said Ajay Shankar Pandey, district magistrate.

Even the UP government is focussing on providing all available amenities and medical facilities to patients who are getting treated for Covid-19.

“The chief minister has directed that all beds in L2 and L3 category hospitals should be provided with oxygen facilities and at all time there should be availability of oxygen stock which is sufficient for 48 hours. The CM has also directed that anti-viral drug Remdesivir should also be provided to patients,” said Awanish Awasthi, UP’s additional chief secretary (home).

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