Hindustan Times (East UP)

Medical O2 crisis escalates in Kashi, hosps ask attendants to shift patients

- HT Correspond­ent letters@htlive.com DEEPAK GYUPTA/HT PHOTOS

VARANASI : Amid the increasing demand for hospital beds in Varanasi to get critical Covid patients admitted, the grave issue of lack of medical oxygen has created an additional problem for the people. The attendants of many patients are being asked to shift their patients to another hospital due to a shortage in medical oxygen. This demand and supply gap of oxygen has left many in the lurch.

Panna Lal (68), a resident of a colony near Varuna Bridge, took ill on April 12. His Covid test was done and the report came out negative, however, his condition deteriorat­ed. Later, his son prof Anil Kumar Chaudhary admitted him to a Vivek Hospital in the Bhikharipu­r area of Varanasi on April 16. His condition was detected with pneumonia. On April 17, the hospital administra­tion informed prof Chaudhary that there would be a shortage of oxygen, therefore, he should shift his father to another hospital.

Chaudhary said, “I somehow managed to shift my father to Sahyog Hospital and Surgical Centre in Orderly Bazar area. My father is admitted to ICU and his condition is improving. However, on April 22 morning, the hospital administra­tion asked me to shift my father to another hospital since the hospital as there would shortage of oxygen because the hospital was left with oxygen for next few hours


He said, “This informatio­n made me shocked because it is not easy to find a hospital under the current circumstan­ces. I raised the issue before the authoritie­s and urged them to ensure oxygen supply to the hospital because there are 12 patients, including my father in the ICU. By afternoon, the hospital received around eight cylinders of oxygen.” Thereafter he took a sigh of relief and thanked the authoritie­s for paying attention to his request. Chaudhary appealed to the authoritie­s to maintain supply to the hospital to avoid inconvenie­nce to the patients in the ICU.

Another 40-year-old patient has been admitted to the same hospital on April 18. He is on oxygen support. On Thursday

morning, the patient’s kin, who does not wish to be named, said that the hospital authoritie­s asked her to shift the patient to another hospital since the hospital was left with oxygen supply only till noon and there would be a shortage of oxygen. She took a sigh of relief after the hospital got a supply of cylinder in the noon. Not only these two persons but many others in Varanasi are being asked to shift their respective patient to another hospital due to the shortage of medical oxygen. Besides, many people are struggling to get beds with oxygen facility for their ailing kin.

District Magistrate Kaushalraj Sharma said, “We are facing the biggest challenge to remove dearth of oxygen and meet its demand. This time, almost all the people who are getting infected by this deadly form of coronaviru­s require oxygen.”

That is why, beds with oxygen facilities are being increased at the Trauma Centre, BHU. A total of 40 beds have been increased in the trauma centre on Thursday, besides, 15 ventilator­s have been provided to the BHU so that the general beds can be prepared for Covid patients, said Sharma.

He said that all possible efforts are being made to meet the oxygen demand.

‘Now O2 reserve in hosps remain for 8-10 hrs’ VARANASI District magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said that nowadays, the hospitals in Varanasi have an oxygen reserve of 8-10 hours. Therefore, hospitals should admit the patients as per the availabili­ty of oxygen.

DM said that a meeting was held with the in-charges of different hospitals on Tuesday. In the meeting, it was told to them that any hospital if facing problems in getting oxygen should reduce the number of beds and not admits new patients till the old patients get discharged. Every hospital should keep only as many patients as fits into its quota of oxygen, he said.

The daily Oxygen supply is fixed and around 3400 oxygen cylinders are being supplied to various Covid hospitals. When the oxygen supply will get better, beds can be increased after a few days. We have reached the maximum capacity of beds according to oxygen availabili­ty, he added.

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