Several hospitals in Bengaluru are reportedly asking the patients to shift to other facilities as they ran out of oxygen stock.
Many hospitals except the corporate chain facilities said they have stopped admitting the COVID-19 patients even if they have beds as they do not have oxygen supply. As Medax Hospital in Sultanpalya ran out of oxygen on Monday, it asked at least 30 patients to shift out.
The hospital's medical director, Srihari R. Shapur, gave in writing to the relatives of the 30 patients, seven of whom were in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), to arrange for beds in other hospitals. The oxygen stock in the hospital was just enough to last till 5 pm on the day.
"We discharged five of the patients, including two from the ICU after they made arrangements elsewhere. We are still waiting for stocks. It is a horrible situation," Shapur told to The Hindu.
After the news on Chamarajanagar deaths kicked in, many hospitals in Bengaluru flagged the oxygen shortage issue with the government. Rajarajeshwari Medical College hospital on Mysuru Road, which had 200 patients on oxygen, said the hospital is running out of oxygen on Monday.
However, the issue was resolved when oxygen on the way to another hospital was diverted there.
Doctors at Supra Multispeciality Hospital in J.P. Nagar, which is also facing a similar problem, said the hospital had only three cylinders left for 35 patients.
"Although we had been assured of supply in the afternoon itself, we are still waiting for stocks. We did not admit new COVID-19 patients on Monday and will continue to do so till we have enough stocks," said Vinay B.G., who runs the hospital.
The situation was similar at Chaitanya Medical Centre in Yelahanka New Town and several other such smaller facilities.
Prasanna HM, president of the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes' Association said the problem was due to logistical issues in the supply chain.
"Quantity is not an issue, but the problem lies in the supply chain. With very few supply tankers, the vendors are unable to visit the hospitals two or three times a day for refilling," he said.
"If the available quantity is utilised properly and the supply chain upgraded, the problem can be resolved. What we need now is an uninterrupted supply of liquid oxygen to the suppliers and from them to the hospitals," Prasanna added.