Kozhikode Medical College Hospital in Kerala faces shortage of medical oxygen, many surgeries postponed

Hospital authorities say remaining stock of oxygen is being used only for the COVID-19 intensive care unit. Only emergency surgeries were allowed to be performed at the hospital

The Government Medical College Hospital (MCH), Kozhikode, appears to be facing a shortage of medical oxygen, leading to cancellation of many scheduled surgeries on Wednesday, including those for cancer patients.

According to sources, the crisis began on Tuesday night. Though the authorities attempted to arrange alternative measures, the efforts were not fully successful. It was decided to use the remaining stock only for the COVID-19 intensive care unit. Only emergency surgeries were allowed to be performed.

According to a doctor there, some of the patients were nevertheless shifted to operation theatres on Wednesday morning hoping that somehow a solution could be found. Though the doctors waited till 11 a.m., oxygen supply failed to arrive and the patients were sent back to the wards.

“About 50 scheduled surgeries may have been postponed. Not even one surgery, including those for cancer patients, could be performed till the afternoon on the day,” said the doctor.

Supply diversion

It is learnt that technical glitches had hit the plant from where oxygen is supplied to the hospital. Some other doctors said the shortage could also be due to the supply being diverted to a new intensive care unit.

Meanwhile, efforts to arrange for supply from the Calicut International Airport failed to take off. However, fresh stock arrived from Kanjikode in Palakkad district by afternoon. Sources said that this was expected to meet the requirements till Thursday morning.

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