Published On : Thu, Feb 14th, 2019

Mayo awaits Gorakhpur-like tragedy as it gasps for oxygen

Nagpur: The Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital (IGMCH) also known as Mayo Hospital has been running alarmingly short of the essential oxygen supplies for last many years. Ironically not a single oxygen cylinder has been procured for the past seven years due to which the number of cylinders is just 84. An official source, revealed that ideally Mayo should have atleast 200 cylinder for emergency purpose.

Breathing on donation…

When the proposal was tabled in 2009, the hospital bought 20 cylinders in installments. On condition of anonymity a source told Nagpur Today since 2009, Mayo did not purchase any cylinder. The number of oxygen cylinders at Mayo is 84 (including the ones received from donation). From the year 1995 to 2018, Mayo purchased only 75 cylinders, rest are the donated ones, added the source.

Multifold increase in patients flow

On August 7 last year a fallout of similar situation was witnessed at Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur where nearly 60 children died while undergoing treatment due to shortage of oxygen cylinder.
It may be noted that, the number of patients coming to Mayo is increasing with over 6 lakh every three year. This means that in these 6 years the number of patients visiting Mayo would have gone beyond 12 lakhs. Among these, around 10-15% patients fall under critical category that required series of treatment for which there is dire need of oxygen support. Also, the number of beds at Mayo is 900. When the flow of patients and the infrastructure is expanding year after year, why the most important part in any emergency, the oxygen cylinders, have been ignored?

Only 40 cylinders can be availed at a time

It may be recalled that in 2018, liquid oxygen plant was established at Mayo. Even the supply of liquid oxygen through the plant is in the Surgical Complex and few other wards. “Around 150 cylinders are needed daily, even in normal condition. Administration claims that they have 84 oxygen cylinder as per the need. But entire 84 cannot be sent outside to the company for filling. They have to be sent it slots. That means only 40 cylinders are in the hospital at a time, which is extremly low for a 900 bedded hospital”, said the source.

Letter stuck midway?

A factory source confirmed to Nagpur Today that it takes altogether 5 hours to get the cylinders filled and transport it back to Mayo. It may be noted that a private company has the tender for supply of oxygen cylinders to Mayo. Nagpur Today even managed to get few letters which were written for the purchase of new cylinders, but for some reason they could not went ahead. In 2016, one such letter was about to be sent regarding the purchase of oxygen cylinder, but it could not reach to the higher level.

Inquiry put on backburner

Even sources told Nagpur Today that in 2016 an enquiry was held about the oxygen cylinders, but then results are expected in government set up. There is enough evidence to show that the hospital and State administration ignored reminders and requests made internally to increase the number of cylinders.

The question that constantly comes up is what made the Mayo administration to not purchase cylinders, when even the plant was established last year.

The administration claims that they need only 70-80 oxygen cylinders, rest of the need is catered by liquid supply. “It is required for Mayo to keep atleast 150 cylinders at the hospitals to avert any emergency. But they haven’t purchased more cylinders since last 6 years. This is height of emergency”, said the official source.

No requirement, we have enough : Sagar Pande

When Nagpur Today took matter to the deputy medical superintendent, Dr Sagar Pande, he told that the hospital has enough of cylinders and hence no further purchase has been made.

“Yes, we have 84 oxygen cylinders but that is what required. In case of emergency we ask contractor to provide us with more cylinders. At Surgical ward, there are 30 wards which has centralised supply of liquid oxgen through the plant. And remaining are around 25 such wards for which we need the oxygen cylinders. The company that has the tender, provides us cylinders in three slots” told Pande to Nagpur Today.

By Shubham Nagdeve