'Up to you': Hosps across town stop admissions amid O2 crisis
New Delhi: At least 13 private and many other government hospitals in the city have now closed their doors for new admission of patients that require either oxygen or ventilator support, as a consequence of what most say is an acute shortage of medical oxygen and the interrupted supply chain for the same, which is getting more uncertain by the day.
The Institute of Brain and Spine Hospital in Lajpat Nagar was again found running low on oxygen on Monday morning when the Delhi government managed to get it some emergency amount from its reserves in the nick of time. But the hospital workers spoke of their daily ordeal. "We have been trying to arrange oxygen cylinders one by one since morning. There are 37 patients, all on oxygen, 13 in ICU, 6 on ventilators, and we cannot even save half of them," one hospital administrator said.
The hospital with just two to three hours of supply left, said, "This job of choosing whom to save, whom to let die, (I) cannot do that job. That is not my training. I urge you to please shift all the patients. Take them to AIIMS, keep them outside and let the Govt manage. They are resourceful and they will manage. We don't have (any more) resources."
In addition to scores of other small hospitals in the city raising SOSes for oxygen, these facilities have now decided to close their doors for new admissions. Among those that have done so are: Jeewan Hospital in Maharani Bagh, Jeewan Anmol hospital and Kukreja Hospital in Mayur Vihar, Kalkaji's Irene hospital, Kapoor Hospital in Rajendra Nagar, MD City Hospital in Model Town, HAHC hospital in Hamdard Nagar, Dharamveer Solanki hospital in Rohini, Parameshwari Devi Hospital in Vasant Kunj, Uttam Nagar's Gandhi Hospital, UK Nursing Home in Vikaspuri, and Bhagwan Mahavir Hospital in Pitampura.
And as the crisis spirals out of control with the Delhi government, Centre and many oxygen suppliers locked in daily battles in the Delhi High Court, the patients already admitted to these hospitals have been left to their own devices.
At Jeewan Hospital, the staff made efforts to get some oxygen cylinders refilled but patients were told that they would have to leave by evening and move to another hospital where they can get oxygen.
At Irene hospital, patient intake was stopped and oxygen supply was being rationed. Patients have been asked to arrange their own oxygen cylinders or shift to a facility with a steadier supply.
At the Parameshwari Devi Hospital in Vasant Kunj, the staff had even started privately arranging for as many oxygen cylinders as it could because it had run out of oxygen supply.
And as the deadline drew closer, patients seeking admission at the Jeewan Anmol Hospital were told that all ventilator beds were occupied and relatives/family members of patients admitted at the hospital were asked to arrange oxygen cylinders on their own.
Most hospitals said their suppliers were making highly erratic deliveries, not supplying the agreed-upon amount and delaying supplies at a time when even a few minutes of low supply turns out to be fatal.
Deputy CM Manish Sisodia has now said they are now asking for help from all quarters for oxygen and tankers, adding that Delhi was still waiting for the Centre to increase allocation to the required 976MT daily.
Meanwhile, the Northern Railways on Monday said that one Oxygen Express train from Odisha had delivered 37MT LMO in two tankers at the Delhi Cantonment station, adding that three more such trains are expected to reach the NCR (Faridabad, Okhla and Gurugram) on Tuesday.