Hospitals asked to audit oxygen consumption in Karnataka

The breakdown at an oxygen production plant that caters to 20% of the State’s oxygen consumption has put hospitals on tenterhooks. They have been asked to conduct a thorough audit and ensure that even small quantities of oxygen is not wasted.

Hospital administrators on Monday said they had adequate stock of oxygen for a day. The medical superintendent of a government hospital in Bengaluru said, “Our stocks were filled on Monday morning. We will be in trouble tomorrow [Tuesday] if our suppliers are unable to fill in our stock on Monday night.”

Prasanna H.M., president of the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA), said it would be a stressful night for hospital managements.

An official of the Department of Health and Family Welfare said they were trying to shift oxygen cylinders from hospitals that have excess supply to those having a shortage. “We are carefully monitoring the situation so that patients are not put to hardship,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Prasanna said many vendors were procuring oxygen cylinders from Maharashtra after they learnt that a breakdown in an oxygen production plant could affect the supply of oxygen. “However, the stock that they bring from Maharashtra will be sufficient only to cater to extremely small hospitals,” he said.

The medical superintendent of another government hospital said the oxygen consumption at the hospital had reduced over the past 10 days. “In mid-April, the daily oxygen consumption in my hospital was 1.4 tonnes. Now it is around 0.5 tonnes every day. So even if the supply is affected, I will be able to manage. Had the same thing happened in April, it would have caused a disaster,” he said, adding that he also had spare oxygen cylinders as backup.

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