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Some Delhi hospitals still struggle for oxygen supply

Some hospitals in the national capital appealed to authorities on Tuesday to replenish their oxygen stocks, saying their patients’ lives were at stake owing to erratic supplies.

For the past several days, hospitals across the national capital and its suburbs have been sending out SOS messages on social media about a shortage of oxygen.

Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital in Malviya Nagar sounded an alarm about their depleting stocks of oxygen around 10:30 pm, saying 50 lives hung by a thread.

Dinesh Vashishth, the head of the hospital, said the private healthcare facility had 45 minutes of oxygen left.

Fifty people, including four newborns, are on oxygen support, he said, adding refilled cylinders are expected to reach the hospital.

However, a delay of even five minutes may lead to a tragedy, he said.

The hospital does not have an oxygen storage tank and depends on oxygen cylinders from a private vendor.

“We require around 125 oxygen cylinders a day,” Vashishth said.

Triton Hospital, where more than 10 babies are in the neonatal intensive care unit, had sent an SOS around 9:30 am.

“We have got 3 D-type cylinders, it will keep us afloat for 3-4 hours. We need around 25 cylinders a day. Our vehicle is waiting at the suppliers’ plant. The vendor hasn’t given us anything so far,” said Dr Deepali Gupta from the hospital.

In a tweet, AAP MLA Raghav Chadha assured that they would help the hospital re-establish their oxygen supply chain.

Around 4 pm, Sama Hospital near Siri Fort had reported an oxygen crisis. The hospital has 30 critical patients and few admitted few are on ventilator.

Chadha said in another tweet, “Already taken care of, my friend. 4 D-type oxygen cylinders were allotted to Sama Hospital from our SOS reserves maintained at Rajghat Response Point.”

Around 1 am, the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, Vasant Kunj, which has 160 Covid-19 patients on 24-hour oxygen support had said it is left with another 25 metric tonnes of the life-saving gas and sought help at the earliest.

“It’s 2 am and the firefighting continues. We rushed our cryogenic tanker to deliver 1MT of LMO (liquid medical oxygen) to ISIC, Vasant Kunj. The LMO has been delivered and would help the hospital tide over the present crisis,” Chadha tweeted at 2 am.

Chadha on Tuesday said 41 hospitals with around 7,000 people on oxygen support sent SOS calls to the Delhi government on May 3.

He also said that the national capital received an average of 393 metric tonnes (MT) of oxygen a day last week against the requirement of 976 MT.

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