Dr. Christina Ghaly, Director of Health Services of Los Angeles County, said that there are many problems related to delivering oxygen to patients, but in general, this is not an absolute shortage of oxygen.
Conversely, in hospitals in some areas, the aging infrastructure that pumps oxygen to oxygen chambers cannot keep up with the needs of large numbers of patients who need oxygen.
Gary said: “They can’t maintain the pressure in the pipeline, and they can’t maintain the oxygen delivery at the high pressure level that is delivered by the high-flow oxygen delivery vehicle.” “Because of the large flow through the pipeline, it sometimes freezes in the pipeline. Obviously, if it freezes, then oxygen cannot circulate.”
When Los Angeles County saw a surge in the number of Covid-19 patients whose almost all hospitals were paralyzed, there was an oxygen problem. There are currently nearly 7,000 patients hospitalized, of which about 20% are in the intensive care unit.
There is also a shortage of oxygen tanks
In order to solve the problem of oxygen supply, some hospitals move Covid-19 patients down to the lower floors of the medical center, which makes it easier to pump oxygen through pipes without freezing.
Gali said another challenge is that some supply companies have a shortage of oxygen tanks. Once patients are discharged from the hospital, they can be taken home. Without the medicine canister, patients who could have gone home-freeing up their beds and medical staff-must stay in the hospital.
For example, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital in Los Angeles, patients are being treated outside the hospital, in conference rooms and church tents. The gurney enters the gift shop. Elaine Batchlor, the hospital’s chief executive, said Monday that rationed care may be next.
She said: “If we continue to see an increase in the number of Covid patients, we may be forced to do certain things. As health professionals, all of us are really unwilling to consider.”
Infectious disease expert Dr. Kimberly Srina told CNN on Sunday that at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, California, nurses who usually take care of one or two patients are now caring for three or four people.
Shriner said: “We have a limited number of ventilators and a limited number of ICU beds,” he added, adding that the team including bioethicists, community members, doctors, nurses and administrative leaders will decide how to allocate these resources if it comes down to it. .
CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner said that these issues may make decisions for difficult future decisions.
“If there are no ventilators, no nurses to take care of patients, no ICU beds, we will have to have terrible discussions with family members, which is why people need to stay at home and when they need to wear masks when they go out.” Reiner Say.
Eric Levenson of CNN contributed to this report.