Limited oxygen cylinders supply hampers expansion of COVID-19 ICU of RIMS

RIMS states that it is unable to take new patients as there is an increasing number of staff and patients of casualty ward being infected with COVID-19.


(PHOTO: Twitter)

Limited supply of oxygen cylinders is posing a challenge in increasing the number of beds in the COVID Care Ward of the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Imphal, Manipur.

Recently, RIMS faced acute shortage of oxygen cylinders and concerning the issue. In view of the concerning issue, the state government has started supplying medical use oxygen to RIMS Hospital. However, due to the ever-increasing number of COVID patients who are in need of oxygen, the hospital is unable to make arrangements to increase the number of beds in the ICU ward where COVID-19 patients in critical conditions are being kept.

While interacting with the Imphal Free Press, medical superintendent of RIMS, professor H Priyosakhi Devi said that the institute had faced acute shortage of oxygen few days ago, but the problem reduced to some extent as oxygen cylinders were being supplied by the state government.

The professor, however, said that more than 50 per cent of the COVID-19 patients are oxygen dependent as the second wave of the pandemic hits the state.

“On an average, RIMS hospital requires 117 D type cylinders for a period of 12 hours. Due to limited supply of oxygen, it is hard to increase the number of beds for COVID-19 patients in ICU. Considering the critical situation, the total beds for patients have been increased to 101 from 72, out of which 10 beds are in ICU. However, all the beds are occupied at present,” she told IFP.

She further said that as several staff of the institute and patients from casualty ward are infected with COVID-19, the institute cannot take new patients.

“The second wave of COVID-19 is more serious and the state government needs to be better prepared to fight the dreaded virus,” Priyosakhi Devi said.

The professor also cautioned that the general population should not take the pandemic lightly and must strictly follow the standard operating procedure to control the spread of Coronavirus in the state.

“Without the support and cooperation from every section of the society, only the government and healthcare workers cannot defeat the pandemic,” Priyosakhi said, while appealing to the people of the state to stay safe and healthy.

Meanwhile, medical superintendent of the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), Imphal, Dr Kh Lokeshwar said that considering the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the state, the institute is going to increase beds for COVID-19 patients at the earliest. At present, the situation is being managed with 88 general beds and 10 ICU beds. Eight more beds will be added on Sunday and another 30 more beds on Monday, the JNIMS Medical Superintendent said.

Stating about the state’s requirement of more oxygen cylinders to deal with the demand for amid the critical pandemic situation, Lokeshwar said that there has been no shortage of oxygen in the institute till date. However, if the number of serious COVID-19 cases increases, there will not be enough oxygen cylinders for the patients, he added.

Recently there were reports of shortage of medical use oxygen and ICU beds in RIMS, JNIMS and other hospitals in the state due to the massive surge in the number of daily COVID-19 positive cases in Manipur. In view of it, a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by one advocate Naresh Maimom on May 7 in the Manipur High Court stated that the oxygen plants operational in the state as on today, including the Shija Oxygen Plant, can barely meet the demands of medical use of oxygen in RIMS, JNIMS and other hospitals in the state. Stating so, the petition sought the court's direction to procure sufficient oxygen and ICU beds for COVID-19 patients in the state.

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First Published:May 8, 2021, 11:58 p.m.

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