Delhi hospitals putting patients on oxygen support on priority basis

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New Delhi, May 4 (PTI) Hospitals in Delhi are putting patients on oxygen support on a priority basis amid an acute shortage of the life-saving gas.

Over the last few days, hospitals across the national capital have sent out SOS messages on social media about their depleting oxygen supplies. Even though the hospitals have a small number of non-COVID patients, when the oxygen supply is low, it affects all patients, Dr Jyoti Mishra, medical director, Aakash Healthcare, Dwarka, said on Tuesday.

'The number of non-COVID patients has gone down. Only those who require emergency treatments are coming to hospitals. When there is an oxygen situation, it affects the entire hospital. However, the oxygen dependency is quite low for the non-COVID patients than the patients in the COVID area,' she said.

Dr Umar Zahoor, head of the emergency department at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, said they stop the supply of oxygen to patients who can survive without the life-saving gas for a few hours in such a crisis situation.

'From COVID to myocardial infraction, brain stroke -- everybody in a real emergency needs oxygen. There might be deaths due to non-availability of oxygen. There are patients who require less oxygen, so we have stopped the supply to those who can survive. If they have an oxygen saturation level of 88-90 per cent without oxygen support and it goes up to 98 with oxygen support, we give them a break. We have to give them the break to see if the lungs can be supportive,' he said.

The hospital has 170 COVID patients and 30 non-COVID patients and almost 90 per cent of the patients are on oxygen support.

Alisha Gandhi of the Gandhi Hospital said they have a 60:40 ratio of COVID and non-COVID patients. She said giving oxygen is one line of treatment and when a crisis arises, the medical staff opt for alternative lines of treatment. PTI SLB RC