9 out of 10 patients in Kolkata hospitals are on oxygen support, Health News, ET HealthWorld


With almost nine out of 10 patients in hospitals now requiring oxygen support, the demand for medical oxygen has more than doubled in the past few weeks. While hospitals had to refill their oxygen tanks once in two days earlier, some of them are now requiring a refill two times a day.

“Our daily oxygen consumption has doubled from about 3,000 kl to 6,000 kl. Out of the 270 Covid patients admitted at RN Tagore Hospital, around 80% require oxygen support. Luckily, our LMO tank can hold 11,000 kl. But now we are getting it refilled every day so that we are prepared,” said R Venkatesh zonal director (East), Narayana Health.

At Ruby General Hospital, the LMO tank with a capacity of 3,000 litres is being refilled twice daily. More than half of the 170 Covid patients in ICU and HDU need high oxygen flow support while many in the wards also require oxygen therapy. “Even till March-end, we would require refilling only on alternate days. Now the consumption has hit the roof. Most patients coming to the hospital now require oxygen support,” said Subhasish Datta, general manager, operations at Ruby General Hospitals.

On Thursday, the city recorded 3,887 fresh cases, taking the active cases count to 26,269. Many are waiting at home till they find a hospital bed. By the time they reach a hospital, some of them already have dangerously low oxygen saturation that makes them require to be put on devices like HNFC consuming 50 to 60 litres of oxygen per minute.

“We have 220 Covid patients and almost everyone is needing some level of oxygen or the other. While we are getting our LMO tank refilled everyday we have also kept 110 cylinders as back up. But we cant rely on these cylinders for the patients who require high oxygen therapy,” said Simmardeep Gill, COO, CK Birla Hospitals CMRI.

During the first wave Bengal never faced any oxygen crisis while many other states complained of its shortage.

“Under normal condition the oxygen consumption would be around 1,500 cubic meters a day. Now with 170 Covid patients, the consumption has doubled up. So far the supply is uninterrupted, despite the rising demand,” said Sudipta Mitra, CEO of Peerless Hospital.

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