Covid patients asked to get their own cylinders, ventilator

HYDERABAD: At a time when Covid-19 patients are struggling to get oxygen beds in hospitals, many small clinics and hospitals who have admitted Covid-19 patients are asking their families to fetch their own oxygen cylinders to stay alive. In several cases, patients were also asked to get a ventilator and when they were unable to get their own equipment, attendants were asked to take away the patient.
“My aunt was admitted in a mid-sized hospital and after four days of treatment her condition worsened. While she was kept in an oxygen bed, she required an intensive care unit (ICU) facility and the hospital asked us to arrange for a ventilator. When we could not arrange one, we were asked to shift her to some other place,” said Mujeeb, a patient’s relative. “But we were unable to get an ICU bed anywhere for one full day and she passed away,” he said.
Many voluntary organisations said they are getting calls from patients for oxygen cylinders, not only under home isolation but also from smaller private hospitals, where they are admitted, wherein hospitals are asking patients to go and fetch their own oxygen supplies.
“We have received over 15 to 20 calls last week for oxygen cylinders. Smaller hospitals are asking patients to get Remdesivir injection, which is not available anywhere. Some hospitals have also asked patients to arrange their own non-invasive ventilators too and if they are unable to do so, they are asked to leave,” said Mujtaba Hasan Askari, a trustee with the Helping Hand Foundation.
Another group of youngsters who are trying to help patients with these issues, said that they are getting 20 to 25 calls in a week just for arranging oxygen. “Some of the small and mid-sized hospitals are ready to give hospital beds to patients, if they get their own oxygen cylinders. We are getting distress calls from many such patients’ relatives who are curtly asked to move the patient if they cannot arrange for the supply of oxygen,” said Pavan Yedama, a student leader.

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