Tuesday, 28 September, 2021

Oxygen running out in US hospitals amid rise in corona cases

WASHINGTON: Parts of the South are running out of oxygen supply as Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations continue soaring, primarily driven by the swaths of people who remain unvaccinated and a dangerous coronavirus variant that has been tirelessly infecting millions of Americans, reports CNN.

Several hospitals in Florida, South Carolina, Texas and Louisiana are struggling with oxygen scarcity. Some are at risk of having to use their reserve supply or running out of oxygen imminently, according to state health officials and hospital consultants.

With the continued uptick in Covid-19 cases, there has been more demand on the oxygen supply, and hospitals cannot keep up the pace to meet those needs, Donna Cross, who is the senior director of facilities and construction at Premier—a health care performance improvement company—told CNN.

“Normally, an oxygen tank would be about 90 percent full, and the suppliers would let them get down to a refill level of 30-40 percent left in their tank, giving them a three to five day cushion of supply,” Cross explained. “What’s happening now is that hospitals are running down to about 10-20 percent, which is a one to two day supply on hand, before they’re getting backfilled.”

Even when they’re getting backfill, it’s only a partial supply of about 50 percent, Cross said. “It is very critical situation.”

Florida on Saturday had the highest Covid-19 hospitalization rate in the country, with 75 patients per 100,000 residents in hospitals with the virus, according to data from federal health officials and Johns Hopkins University. It also reached yet another pandemic high of Covid-19 cases Friday, reporting 690.5 new cases per 100,000 people each day from August 20 to August 26, state data showed.