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Hospitals stop admissions due to oxygen shortage

The ongoing shortage of oxygen supply to hospitals has left Covid-19 patients staring at a medical crisis, with several hospitals stopping new admissions on Tuesday and some even asking families of admitted patients to shift them to other facilities or arrange for oxygen cylinders
By Leena Dhankhar, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON APR 27, 2021 11:29 PM IST

The ongoing shortage of oxygen supply to hospitals has left Covid-19 patients staring at a medical crisis, with several hospitals stopping new admissions on Tuesday and some even asking families of admitted patients to shift them to other facilities or arrange for oxygen cylinders.

Dr Prithvi Raj Aryan, the director of Aryan Hospital on Old Railway Road, said that there was no regular supply of oxygen leading to panic among family members of patients. “We have stopped taking new admission until there is regular oxygen supply. We have been visiting at least four places to refill the oxygen cylinders but are still getting a limited supply, which is not enough for the patients admitted to our hospital,” he said.

At present, hospitals in the city are having to send their staffers to one of the three refill stations, two of which are in Manesar and one in Sector 16, in the district to get cylinders refilled with oxygen. However, hospitals said that the supply lasts only for a limited time due to the increased demand. Several hospitals on Tuesday morning called on the district administration to help them, after they ran out of oxygen supply.

Dr S Raghunandan, vice-president, Center of Diabetes and Allied Sciences (CDAS), said that they have stopped admitting new patients due to a shortage of oxygen cylinders. “We have 38 Covid patients and most of them are surviving on oxygen support. Our hospital is going through an acute emergency as the oxygen supply left is hardly enough for a few hours. We are arranging oxygen from different places, but the supply lasts briefly. We are in a dire situation and the staff has not slept for the last 48 hours due to the condition of patients,” he said.

The managements of Aarvy hospital in Civil Lines and Sector 90, Sethi Hospital in Model Town and Kathuria Hospital on Khandsa Road also said the oxygen supply at their respective hospitals would last only for a few hours.

“We are not accepting new admissions until we get regular oxygen supply. We have an urgent oxygen requirement for our patients. We have around 80 patients in a serious condition, with 40 of them in ICU and on ventilator support. Their lives are at risk if oxygen is not made available to them. There has been an acute shortage of oxygen since last week. We got a few cylinders on Monday night with the help of the administration but the situation is again very bad. We are left with no choice but to explain to the patients and their relatives to either shift them elsewhere or to arrange oxygen. We have stock left only for two hours now,” said Dr Vikram Singh, director of Aarvy hospital, said on Tuesday morning.

Dr AK Kathuria, the owner of Kathuria Hospital, where four patients died on Sunday due to lack of oxygen, said that the situation has not improved and the same problems persist. “We have stopped admission of Covid-19 patients as we are unable to save their lives without oxygen. A team of staff is running to arrange oxygen throughout the day and hardly 10% of our demands are met,” he said.

Officials of the district administration on Tuesday constituted teams, comprising 50 personnel, to coordinate with private hospitals and check the status of oxygen supply. Officials said they are calling each hospital and preparing an inventory of demand and supply to ensure smooth operations.

Yash Garg, the deputy commissioner of Gurugram, said, “There are small hospitals that are admitting Covid-19 patients without our knowledge, leading to a shortage of oxygen supply. The supply has been increased and the distribution is done in such a way that all hospitals are getting oxygen supply as per their patient count.”

Garg said the district received 35 metric tonnes of oxygen on Tuesday and the situation is improving.

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