Tamil Nadu

Oxygen capacity augmentation under way

Amid the pandemic, augmenting oxygen capacity at government hospitals has turned into a focus area for the health authorities. Keeping in line with the increasing demand for oxygen among patients, the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC) has taken up work to install liquid medical oxygen tanks at government hospitals in the State.

Installation of liquid oxygen tanks was taken up across institutions under the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) and the Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services (DMS) from July. Around 40 to 45 COVID-19 hospitals in the two directorates — including government medical college hospitals and affiliated institutions, government hospitals and district headquarters hospitals — are being covered.

TNMSC officials said work to augment oxygen capacity at government hospitals was nearing completion.

According to data with the TNMSC, the total existing liquid oxygen tank capacity of institutions under the DME was 349.039 kilolitre (kl), and it was 6.026 kl in DMS institutions, till the augmentation works began in July.

Between July and August, the proposed augmented capacity was 66 kl for government medical college hospitals (DME institutions) and 8 kl for DMS institutions. For the period from September to October (including ongoing), the proposed augmented capacity was 317.5 kl for DME institutions and 22 kl for DMS institutions. With this, the capacity after augmentation/shifting at government medical college hospitals will rise to 732.539 kl and that of DMS institutions to 36.026 kl — in total, amounting to 768.565 KL.

“The State’s average oxygen requirement, in a day, varies according to the patient load. At peak demand, it was above 120 kl, and it should have come down now. The requirement of oxygen has increased by 3.5 to 4 times since March in the State,” P. Umanath, managing director, TNMSC, said. He added that liquid oxygen tanks were being installed at a cost of around ₹11 crore. “The work is nearing completion,” he said. The largest single tank that is being installed is a 35 kl structure at the Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital in Salem, while 24-kl tanks are being installed at the Government Medical College Hospital, Omandurar Estate, and the Villupuram Government Medical College Hospital.

A senior government doctor in Chennai said oxygen was the primary treatment for many patients, especially those with moderate and severe COVID-19. “Some patients with mild disease do require oxygen. This includes obese persons in the mild category and those with co-morbidities,” he said.

Another hospital authority said the augmentation of oxygen tanks would enable the uninterrupted supply of oxygen for those in need of support.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 2:41:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/oxygen-capacity-augmentation-under-way/article32948341.ece

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