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CIHSR refutes report of turning COVID patient away due to oxygen shortage

Nagaland News

Dimapur, April 25: The Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research (CIHSR) has rejected claims that it did not accept a patient on April 23 due to oxygen shortage.

On Sunday morning, a section of the media had claimed that a person, who later died due to COVID-19, was taken to District Hospital Dimapur after CIHSR “cited oxygen shortage and could not admit the patient”.
However, later in the evening, the Director of CIHSR, Dr. Sedevi Angami, explained to Nagaland Page the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“At CIHSR, we have 13 ICU beds kept for non-COVID patients. We also have 4 separate ICU cubicles for COVID patients who need ventilation or are very sick. These are manned by dedicated separate ICU staff. The ICU has piped oxygen from an oxygen-generating plant of about 150 litres per minute. We also have a dedicated COVID ward with an HDU or high dependency unit with monitors and oxygen in oxygen cylinders. We also keep a few more beds for stable COVID patients not needing oxygen,” he informed.
Citing the hospital’s casualty records, Angami said that the patient came to CIHSR on April 23 at 4 a.m. with short history of cough and breathlessness. “His oxygen saturation was around 34 percent. He was found to be COVID positive,” the doctor said.
Immediately, the patient was put on oxygen, dexamethasone and low molecular weight heparin, he informed.
“At that time, all the COVID HDU and COVID ICU beds were full. Normally, we cannot keep COVID and non-COVID patients in the same ward since cross-infection will take place. The casualty duty medical officer discussed the case with the senior emergency consultant. Patient required admission in ICU or HDU. Since these were full, they were given the option of going to district hospital. Patient left casualty at 6 a.m.,” informed Angami.
Under normal conditions, he said, the hospital has enough cylinders and the oxygen-generating plant is sufficient for all its needs.
Nevertheless, due to the current situation, the CIHSR has placed orders for more oxygen jumbo cylinders. “We are also trying to get an additional higher capacity oxygen-generating plant of 500 litres capacity,” Angami informed, adding that they are even trying to increase the COVID isolation ward capacity.
According to him, some of the constraints the hospital is currently facing are lack of additional oxygen cylinders in the market due to the high demand and lack of nursing staff because of mass resignations to join government service or other reasons.

“We currently have a COVID rapid response team which has a daily review of patient numbers and status, drugs availability, oxygen status and COVID tests. We currently have RT PCR, CBNAAT, TrueNat, RAT and COVID antibody tests,” he added. (Page News Service)