The Supreme Court on Wednesday applauded Mumbai's model of oxygen management and urged Delhi to adopt the same to overcome the shortage of liquid medical oxygen for Covid-19 patients. The SC praised Mumbai's civic body in the successful management of the oxygen situation.
CitySpidey spoke to Sudhir Suryawanshi, a Mumbai-based journalist to understand the model better. He said, "Mumbai had prepared itself since the first Covid-19 wave last year. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) installed 11 tankers with a capacity of 13 kilolitre oxygen supply per minute. In all the major hospitals, 8 tankers supplying 10-kilolitre oxygen per minute were installed. All these oxygen-supplying tankers were installed with a tangible base within 40 days."
He added that the BMC further arranged the dura cylinders, which deliver ample holding time with the lowest evaporation rate, highest gas-withdrawal rate, and best life-cycle cost, for nursing homes and small hospitals.
"The municipal corporation formed teams of engineers and technicians for each civic ward. There are 24 wards in Mumbai. The teams' job was to monitor the use of oxygen, plug leakages, and supervise logistics. If anyone uses more than the required amount of oxygen, then it is noticed immediately," Suryawanshi added.
He also said that instructions were given to hospitals that if their supply of oxygen dries up, they should inform BMC at least three hours prior. They also wrote to the food and drugs administration for the oxygen usage guidelines. An individual positive patient with low oxygen requires 5 litres of oxygen per minute while it can also exceed by 12-15 litre per minute and come down to 2-3 litre per minute. This small evaluation helped them to save litres of oxygen.
Dr Khusrav Bajan, Consultant Emergency Physician at P.D. Hinduja National Hospital, and a member of Maharashtra Task Force for Covid-19 said, "We have two ways in which we could handle that, one is the government understood the problems of the oxygenation very early and they did everything best to increase the supply. They asked hospitals to manage their oxygen and if not possible then it would be supplied from a single war-room and we distributed the oxygen very well. On the doctor's front as the task force member, we immediately release guidelines on rationing and the usage of oxygen."
"There were some places where oxygen was given to maintain a saturation of 00% and that was the waste of oxygen so we set guidelines on how to ration the use of oxygen. We took some lectures and continued medical education to tell the doctors to do that. We also told them that the target instead of 100% saturation should now become 94% and on a ventilator even 90-91%. That's how we conserve our oxygen supply. We also made sure that every hospital and nursing home had an oxygen audit. We provided them with a format where they would mention how many patients were on oxygen, how many litres of oxygen was used, and so on. So we tried to strike a good balance between the supply and demand," Bajan added.