Tikapur Hospital grapples with oxygen shortageAround 10 seriously ill Covid-19 patients have been visiting the hospital on a daily basis in the past few weeks.
As many as 12 Covid-19 patients died at Tikapur Hospital in Kailali district in the past two days. According to doctors, most of the patients died due to a shortage of oxygen in the hospital.
“The hospital has a limited oxygen supply. Patients are deprived of oxygen while our cylinders are taken for a refill. They are dying, as there is no oxygen back up at the hospital,” said Dr Ramesh Upadhyay, the corona focal person at the hospital. According to him, the hospital currently has 45 oxygen cylinders running.
“A patient needs seven oxygen cylinders on average until she/he recovers. The hospital has a shortage of oxygen cylinders and the situation is exacerbated because the cylinders have to be taken to Nepalgunj to be refilled,” said Upadhyay. “The time spent on moving the cylinders to and from Nepalgunj further worsens the situation.”
Health workers say they are facing further challenges in the treatment of Covid-19 patients since the infected do not seek immediate treatment and reach the hospital only when their condition turns critical.
“Patients should visit the hospital as soon as they start showing symptoms. They visit the hospital only after a week with serious problems in the chest, which requires them to be put on supplemental oxygen,” said Upadhyay.
According to data available at the hospital, around 10 seriously ill Covid-19 patients have been visiting the hospital on a daily basis in the past few weeks.
The hospital, which has only 15 beds for coronavirus treatment, currently has 45 patients. The hospital said almost all the patients are on supplemental oxygen.
“We don’t have enough beds so we have patients on makeshift beds on the floor,” said Dr Rem Kumar Rai, the chief at the hospital. “But the bigger problem we are currently facing is insufficient oxygen and oxygen cylinders.”
Under the initiative of Tikapur Concerned Group, Tikapur Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Tikapur Hospital, around Rs 1 million has been collected so far to purchase oxygen cylinders for the hospital.