Next shortage in Covid-19 care? Oxygen
According to an article written January 26, 2021 published by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health;
“Healthcare system, state, and national leaders need to act now to avoid medical oxygen shortages in the weeks and months ahead. Medical oxygen supplies are already at crisis levels in some cities and states due to severe surges in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hospitalizations. In Southern California, the shortages have affected not only hospitals and other health facilities but also emergency medical transportation practices.
These shortages apply to wall oxygen in hospitals as well as portable oxygen cylinders and concentrators in hospitals and medical facilities and for at-home and emergency use. Oxygen shortages were also reported in New York City and Texas during the COVID-19 hospital surges last year and are occurring in other countries. Hospitals and health systems everywhere should begin to prepare now for potential oxygen shortages. As hospitals reach capacity due to surges in COVID-19 patients, this crisis is likely to be repeated in other locations. If enough areas are severely affected concurrently, a national crisis could ensue.”
Home oxygen concentrators are being used as much as possible in place of oxygen cylinders. Concentrators use oxygen from the air and do not need to be refilled. However, home oxygen concentrators are currently difficult to find because the demand is larger than number of units available.