Medical oxygen is the latest supply issue during the COVID pandemic

Oxygen deficiency is yet another sign of the sacrifice that the summer COVID-19 revival has brought to the national hospital system.

Kansas Mission — COVID-19 (New Coronavirus Infection) Despite signs of hope that the spread of the virus is slowing in the U.S. pocket, Surge is increasing oxygen supply and scrambling hospitals for a ventilator.

The hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma recently called 911 after arriving within hours of running out of oxygen because of the need for an emergency transfer of patients using high-flow oxygen. The hospital shipped later that day, but the experience was a warning to other hospitals, said Dr. Jeffrey Goodrow, chief medical officer of the EMS system serving Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

“If it can happen in one hospital, it can happen in any hospital. It doesn’t happen there,” says Goodrow. Here is the heartbeat. “

Oxygen deficiency is yet another sign of the sacrifice that the summer COVID-19 revival has brought to the national hospital system. A few states, including Florida, Oregon, Hawaii, Mississippi, and Louisiana, have set pandemic records for COVID-19 hospitalizations, and many hospitals have a dangerous shortage of staff and intensive care unit beds. .

However, there is some good news.

The country averages 155,000 new infections per day, but the trajectory of cases has slowed dramatically since early August.

In Florida, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, the number of cases has decreased slightly over the past two weeks. In Florida, COVID-19 hospitalizations have recently declined, similar to hospitals in Springfield, Missouri, the early epicenter of the delta variant’s surge.

The number of vaccinations is also increasing, and White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Seiens recognizes the obligation of vaccines in restaurants, workplaces, sports stadiums, schools and elsewhere.

“The important thing is to accelerate the pace of the first shot. In August, it exceeded 14 million. This is about 4 million more first shots in August compared to the previous month in July. “.

But in a week, that number hasn’t been very high since the US Food and Drug Administration gave Pfizer full approval for the vaccine after reviewing six months of safety data. The seven-day average of vaccine doses administered across the United States rose to 898,000 on Monday, up from 853,000 a week ago.

Deaths are also increasing, averaging over 1,300 per day, predicted by health authorities as a result of the significant increase in cases and hospitalizations last month.

Georgia and Oklahoma are emerging as new places where hospital and state leaders are alerting to lack of capacity and supply.

COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations threaten to absorb medical oxygen, a delta form of respiratory disease that is an important treatment for people suffering from breathing in some Georgia hospitals on Monday Because of the yelling, we are about to cross the January peak in Georgia.

Governor Brian Kemp has signed an executive order to summon an additional 1,500 National Guard to assist hospitals with a shortage of non-healthcare workers in addition to the previously licensed 1,000.

The Augusta University Medical Center has ordered an additional 12 ventilators to handle the surge. On Tuesday, the hospital treated 122 COVID-19 patients, pushing the hospital-wide census to a record of 501 patients.

The number of COVID-19 patients remains about 20 less than the winter surge level, but the hospital refuses to transfer because it is treating the untreated portion of patients who postponed treatment during the peak of the pandemic. , Said Dr. Philip Cool, Chief Medical Officer.

“We are very closely watching the use of ventilators,” he said, and may even wear ventilators because more patients require high-flow oxygen and other treatments. .. “We are worried about it.”

Part of the problem with oxygen supply is that the hospital found it successful in treating coronavirus patients with high-flow oxygen tubes. However, this method uses up to three times as much oxygen as the treatments used in the early days of the pandemic, said Andy Brailo, chief customer officer of Premier, a group supply purchaser at the hospital.

Supply is more stringent than ever, coupled with the struggle to find enough drivers with the dangerous goods certification needed to supply oxygen to the hit hospital. Some hospitals came within a day or two of the shortage. Others rely on using backup tanks, which are normally used only when the main tank is being refilled.

In Orlando, due to lack of oxygen, residents are being asked to stop watering the lawn and washing their cars. This is because Orlando treats tap water with liquid oxygen and the supply normally used for water treatment is diverted to hospitals.

Brilo said the oxygen problem is particularly serious in Florida. He said he had recently heard about the issue in Louisville, Kentucky and Texas.

“The hospital has begun to think about what options we should take when we are out. In some cases, it may mean that we have to move the patient. It may mean making it in a much more invasive way. Make sure those patients are oxygenated. “

Dr. Ryan Stanton, a doctor in the emergency room in Lexington, Kentucky, who has treated dozens of COVID-19 patients, has put multiple people into one ventilator in a private Facebook group for the past few days. He said he had begun to discuss whether he could do it. He said so far no doctor said they were trying it.

“It’s just a sign that you’re reaching that critical point,” he said of the argument.

Medical oxygen is the latest supply issue during the COVID pandemic

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