Nepal-Korea Hospital Starts Producing Oxygen

At a time when the country is facing a severe shortage of oxygen for COVID-19 patients, many local levels have started constructing oxygen plant in their own investments and efforts.
On Tuesday several hospitals in Bhaktapur district issued a notice saying they were in dire need of oxygen and many patients would have to be discharged if there was no supply of oxygen on time.
In the meantime, Nepal-Korea Friendly Municipal Hospital, run by Madhyapur Thimi Municipality, started producing oxygen from Friday by constructing an oxygen plant on the hospital premises.
The municipality invested around Rs. 6 million to construct the oxygen plant for the hospital, said Madan Sundar Shrestha, Mayor of the Municipality.
At present, 42 COVID-19 infected people are being treated at the hospital. “At least 10 infected people returned from the hospital on Thursday because we could not admit them due to lack of oxygen. All the patients admitted to the hospital are in oxygen support. Seven patients are being treated at ICU (Incentive Care Unit), 14 patients are in the high-dependency unit (HDU) and four are in the Critical Care Unit. Other patients are receiving treatment at the emergency ward,” Mayor Shrestha said.
“It took us six months to complete the whole process. The oxygen plant was brought from China before the lockdown took effect in the country. So it has become easy for us to start the production at a time when the COVID-19 patients are in dire need of oxygen,” Mayor Shrestha said.
The oxygen plant is a compact air compressor based on PSA technology, which is constructed for the first time in Kathmandu Valley, Mayor Shrestha claimed.
According to Dr. Dipendra Kumar Raushan, medical superintendent of the hospital, the oxygen plant will produce up to 30 cylinders of oxygen in a day, each with a capacity of producing 6000 litres. That means the plant can produce 180,000 litres of oxygen in a day. “Every day 75 to 80 cylinders are being consumed in the hospital. Serious patients need 15 litres of oxygen in a minute. Oxygen need varies from patient to patient,” Dr Raushan said.
A serious patient requires four/five cylinders daily. The oxygen produced from the plant will be sufficient for the patients admitted to the hospital for now, Mayor Shrestha said.
“On Tuesday, the oxygen was almost finished in the hospital and patients there were about to be discharged, but with continued efforts the hospital was able to get 17 cylinders of oxygen from the government quota so that the patients were able to receive treatment without any problem,” Mayor Shrestha said.
Technician Ajay Ghimire, who has been involved in oxygen plant installation in various hospital, said that the plant would directly supply oxygen to the patients through the pipeline. “The plant consists of four cylinders, and it supplies oxygen directly to the patients by absorbing it from the air around,” he said.