There is a wide gap between demand and supply of oxygen in the city
GURUGRAM: Friday was nothing short of a nightmare for over a dozen hospitals in the city that made distress calls for oxygen throughout the morning. Several, including some leading hospitals, had no option but to ask patients’ kin to procure cylinders because they were in danger of running out of oxygen stocks, and turn away new patients.
Gurugram has a wide gap between demand and supply of medical oxygen — around 30 metric tonnes (MT), which cylinders are being used to fill — but the supply worries aggravated on Friday because only 19MT of the assured supply of 35MT had reached the city.. One tanker headed for the city was diverted to Rewari, which was facing a crisis.
At present, Gurugram’s allotment of oxygen is at 35MT, whereas the demand stands at 65MT. Relatives of Covid patients said they are having a tough time arranging cylinders. “I have been searching for an empty cylinder since Friday morning. The hospital is running out of oxygen supply. I don’t know what the MCG’s oxygen management team is doing,” said a worried Sunil Kumar, whose Covid-positive wife is admitted in Aarvy Hospital.
Abhishek Mishra, a resident, tweeted: “My brother is admitted in Mayom Hospital…The hospital is daily asking us to arrange cylinders. Plants are saying individuals are not allowed to refill. My brother will die sir, please do something.”
Dr Manish Prakash of Mayom Hospital said, “We have suspended fresh admissions. We are raising SOS calls every six hours as we aren’t getting oxygen supply. We have pointed these issues to both the Haryana government and the district administration.”
He added, “We are requesting patients’ relatives to organise a backup for oxygen for their safety. If they can procure an oxygen concentrator or oxygen cylinder, it can be used for the patient in case of an emergency.”
He also said the oxygen management team is unable to provide details on oxygen distribution to each hospital. “We are not getting any information on how much supply we will be getting each day and by when. These are the questions that the team should answer,” he added.
The hospital also confirmed that their oxygen stock is almost empty and they have been filling cylinders over five times a day. “Our teams are standing at each filling station in the city, hoping to get some cylinders refilled,” said Yogesh Sharma from the hospital.
Signature Hospital tweeted an SOS for oxygen at 9.26am. “In the Signature Hospital, we require LMO (liquid medical oxygen) latest by 11 AM. We have 74 COVID patients today. Present stock of LMO will suffice for maximum 2-3 Hours (sic),” it tweeted. W-Pratiksha, Metro, Aarvy and others also raised alarms for oxygen.
“Oxygen crisis continues in Park Hospital. At present, we are getting only 50% of the allotted liquid oxygen, and oxygen aren’t concentrators easily available. It’s time for the administration to answer some tough questions,” said PN Kakkar, CEO of Park Hospital.
Fortis too shared a similar story. “We have been getting oxygen, but our situation still remains precarious as the demand has been increasing daily. We are operating a on very thin margin of supply and all efforts are being made to ensure we have appropriate backup for our patients’ safety,” said Dr Ritu Garg, zonal director, Fortis Memorial Research Institute.
Meanwhile, the district administration said the situation is likely to improve as Gurugram is expected to get more oxygen soon. “I am aware of the grim situation and we have been working to meet the oxygen demand. One of our tankers was diverted to another district and thus smaller hospitals are in a bad shape. We have received a consignment of fresh oxygen. Hospitals are being given oxygen supply,” said Yash Garg, deputy commissioner, Gurugram.