Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 2
When the city was facing acute shortage of medical oxygen, Eden Critical Care Hospital procured abnormal high quantity. This was stated in the report of an inquiry into the abnormal pattern of consumption of medical oxygen cylinders by the hospital from April 1 onwards.
On May 9, Yashpal Garg, the nodal officer for oxygen supplies in Chandigarh, formed a committee chaired by Jagjit Singh, a PCS officer, to conduct the inquiry. Dr Manjit Singh of the GMSH-16 and Dr Manpreet Singh of the GMCH-32 were other members of the committee. The committee completed the inquiry and submitted its report to Garg on May 31.
“There cannot be any justification for consumption of about 200 to 350 cylinders per day. Since the hospital has not produced the daily list of patients along with the purpose of admission or treatment and proper record of oxygen consumption, the possibility of hoarding/black marketing/ illegal diversion of medical oxygen cylinders cannot be ruled out,” read the inquiry report.
The committee observed that Eden Hospital used medical oxygen at a very high flow rates against the guidelines issued by the Government of India. In comparison with other private hospitals in the UT, Eden Hospital consumed much higher number of cylinders for almost similar number of patients. Even if all beds at the hospital were occupied and all patients were at high flow of oxygen, the consumption of D-type cylinders could not have been more than 150-160 cylinders, read the report.
Due to acute shortage of medical oxygen in Chandigarh, it was decided to rationalise the distribution of oxygen and fix a daily quota for private hospitals. Eden Hospital was consuming abnormal quantity of about 350 cylinders per day while another hospital of almost same capacity was consuming about 90 cylinders only.
Even the stated leakages in the pipeline did not justify the exceptionally high consumption of oxygen cylinders on certain dates. There was no explanation as to how the abnormal consumption of oxygen cylinders reduced immediately after fixation of the quota on May 7.
The hospital has accepted about not keeping proper opening and closing balance of oxygen cylinders on daily basis. It showed an irresponsible behaviour, the report stated.
The daily use of O2 by the hospital was compared. The first period (April 26–May 5) was prior to fixation of quota while second period (May 23- June 1) was post-abolition of the quota. During these periods, the hospital was free to procure any number of cylinders but the consumption pattern was different. Eden should have used 1,641 cylinders for 565 patients during the first period, but it consumed 2,935 cylinders.
Use of high flow O2 affected patients
One of the glaring findings of the inquiry report was that the use of a high flow of oxygen against the prescribed guidelines might have negative effects on the patients.
‘Strict action warranted’
Yashpal Garg, nodal officer for O2 supplies, said the Health Department might initiate strict action against the hospital under the Disaster Management Act.
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