COVID-19 Patient's Oxygen: Oxygen Supply Flow Opens To Edge Of Violation

- Mar 23, 2020-

Oxygen transportation plant: half of the vehicles are overloaded and damaged, and the workers are physically unable to work overtime every day

Ye Fei (pseudonym), who has been in the medical oxygen industry for more than ten years, has never experienced such a bad time. Different call numbers sent the same urgency, "(oxygen) gas is gone", "(oxygen) gas is almost gone", "send it quickly". The company's nine transport vehicles have broken four in ten days, but Sixty percent of the workforce needs to meet nearly a hundred times the oxygen demand, "the strings are stretched to break."

Ye Fei dispatches vehicles to send about 900 oxygen cylinders to hospitals in Wuhan every day. "The designated hospital's oxygen consumption is now (behind the original number) plus two zeros." One hundred bottles were sent to the outpatient clinic of Xiehe Hospital in the morning, and in the afternoon, they were told that they were exhausted.

He told reporters in Nandu that due to the heavy use of the hospital, vehicles that transported cylinders sometimes had to be overloaded. During the Chinese New Year, many garages do not open. If there is a problem with the vehicle, it will not only fail to maintain it, but also continue to work until it is completely impossible to transport. Since oxygen is a dangerous product, the transportation vehicle is a special vehicle and cannot be replaced by ordinary trucks.

At the same time, there are fewer workers who continue to work. Ye Fei introduced that the steel cylinders containing oxygen are more than a hundred kilograms. Whether it is transported to the hospital, returned for filling, or disinfected in the factory, human labor is required to lift them one by one. Nowadays, many foreign employees are unable to return to work. The remaining 60% of employees work from 9 am to 24 pm every day, and they report physical exhaustion. The transport workers used several masks uniformed by the medical staff, and sometimes even went to the fever clinic, and sent the oxygen cylinder to the patient to complete the disassembly.

Recently, the turnover of the oxygen container, the cylinder, has once become a common anxiety in this industry. Ye Fei told reporters in the south that if the hospital needs 100 bottles of oxygen, generally 150 bottles will be sent for backup. At the same time, another 100 steel bottles will be filled in the factory. After the surge in demand, "the cylinders in Wuhan have been sold short," and the turnover is not enough, so they can only send a small amount of spare. After the cylinders can be purchased from other places, the pressure in this regard has eased slightly, but it will take two to three days to issue a certificate.

Ye Fei told reporters to the south that medical oxygen is both a drug and a dangerous product, and there are certain thresholds for production and transportation. At present, medical oxygen manufacturers in Wuhan can count it with one hand. He said that with the continuous increase in gas consumption, fewer workers and vehicles, the pressure on himself was increasing, but he never dared to stop.


Fixed-point hospital oxygen class: The oxygen supply flow rate is on the edge of the violation, and one month of bottle oxygen is used up a day


Yang Jicheng of the oxygen class of Wuhan Hankou Hospital is at the end of Ye Fei's phone. He told reporters in the south that the 80 cylinder used to use oxygen for more than a month, but now it can only support it for one day.

Downstairs in the respiratory ward, Yang Jicheng skillfully tilted a cylinder nearly one person tall, holding the bottleneck in one hand, turning the bottle forward with one hand, and letting the cylinders line up in the elevator room, transported to the building in batches Go to the door of the ward. Before moving, several doctors and nurses pushed the transport cart to pick it up.

Yang Jicheng asked the number of patients who needed oxygen from oxygen cylinders. Nine people were counted by the two doctors and he panicked at the ear. "This will not work, you have to reduce one, otherwise you will definitely not get through this night. Either we don't buy it, there is nothing, and the phone burst is useless ... … There will be another house tomorrow morning to see if we can deliver ten bottles. "

Behind the bottleneck oxygen shortage is the limit of the hospital's mainstream oxygen supply mode. At Hankou Hospital, a network of underground pipes connects the liquid oxygen tank to the ward. Yang Jicheng told reporters in Nandu that the supply of liquid oxygen from Wuhan Iron and Steel Co., Ltd. has no problem at present. The problem is that the diameter of the pipeline for oxygen delivery in the hospital is too small. "The pressure coming out of the liquid oxygen tank was six pressures, and it became less than two pressures in the ward." There were so many patients who were inhaling oxygen that they didn't feel it.

Yang Jicheng said that the central oxygen supply of Hankou Hospital has opened to 250% of the previous flow rate. Four cubic meters of liquid oxygen can be used for seven to eight days on a weekday, and it will be used up in one and a half days or two days. He said that this is already the limit. If it is increased, it will not only violate the rules, but may also lead to the paralysis of the entire hospital's oxygen supply system.

As a result, in Wuhan alone, thousands of blue oxygen cylinders are running between factories and hospitals every day to fill vacancies. Like Ye Fei, Yang Jicheng can sense the patient's distribution from the oxygen demand. For every 80 bottles of oxygen in Hankou Hospital, about 30 bottles need to be sent to the emergency department. The patients there did not have a central oxygen supply available.

Since the first year, Yang Jicheng, who is about to retire, has extended the 24-hour duty to 32 hours. The same is true for the other two employees in the oxygen class, because it is as large as the hospital's bus, negative pressure terminal, oxygen terminal, and as small as a pager. Need timely management and maintenance. The task is heavy, and two people need to be on duty every time. "When someone falls down, trouble comes."


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