Battling an acute shortage of oxygen, some hospitals in Delhi on Sunday sent out desperate SOS calls to authorities to replenish their dwindling stocks, with one healthcare facility even requesting the government to shift out its patients.
Later, at night, the hospital said it will not take any admission which requires oxygen or ventilation support ”due to inconsistent liquid oxygen supply.” The hospital does not have an oxygen storage tank and depends on oxygen cylinders from a private vendor.
”It has become a daily fire-fight in the absence of a continuous supply. We require around 125 oxygen cylinders a day,” the head of the hospital, Dinesh Vashishth, said.
”CRY FOR HELP: Received only 5 #oxygen cylinders after running around the entire day, not more than 60 mins left to save lives of more than 250 patients,” a tweet posted from the hospital’s handle read.
In the evening, Yateesh Wahaal, CEO of Vimhans Hospital in South Delhi, requested ”urgent support to save precious lives”.
He said the hospital supplier has been changed as per a government order. The new supplier is ”refusing to supply and doesn’t have stock for the next seven days to meet our requirement”.
At 6:10 pm, the hospital tweeted it received emergency oxygen cylinders that are ”expected to provide some air for 2-3 hours. Hanging by a thin thread. Need LMO on emergency basis”. ”We have just received LMO. A big thank you @DMSouthDelhi,” the hospital tweeted around 11 pm.
The Hakim Abdul Hamid Centenary Hospital, where 110 patients are admitted, sounded an alarm about depleting oxygen supplies around 2 pm.
A tanker carrying oxygen reached the facility around 6 pm. Dr Deepali Gupta from Triton Hospital in Kalkaji said they have been struggling to arrange oxygen for their neonatal intensive care unit.
”We have been scrambling for oxygen for over a week. A major tragedy may occur if a continuous supply is not ensured soon,” she said.
Around 4:30 pm, the hospital said it had exhausted its liquid medical oxygen stock and was using the back up.
There has been no update on the situation so far.
Meanwhile, the BLK-Max Super Speciality Hospital announced the installation of an ”oxygen generator and a high-pressure cylinder filling system which will provide around 15 per cent additional back-up to the existing medical oxygen demand at the hospital in the form of a continuous feed”.
The Delhi government has been demanding 976 metric tonnes of oxygen from the Centre against the existing allotted 490 MT quota.
According to official data, Delhi had got 305 MT of oxygen on April 25, followed by 408 MT on April 26, 398 MT on April 27, 431 MT on April 28 and 409 MT on April 29.