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How to help ease the strain on California's oxygen supply

The California Office of Emergency Services said that surging COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have resulted in oxygen supply issues at hospitals throughout the state.

Posted: Jan 25, 2021 4:42 PM

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. -   The California Office of Emergency Services said that surging COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have resulted in oxygen supply issues at hospitals throughout the state.    The increase in demand is putting a huge stress on the overall oxygen supply chain – everything from cylinders to trucks needed to move it.

Agency Officials say that In hospitals, bulk oxygen systems are being strained by the number of patients using high flow supplemental oxygen, exceeding system capacity.

Also, facilities and home health care companies are experiencing challenges managing the supply of supplemental oxygen bottles and tanks. This is leading to a shortage of bottles/cylinders and impacting gas companies’ abilities to fill replacement orders.

Here's how you can help:

If you use bulk oxygen or nitrogen in your industry, do what you can to conserve.  It’s not just the molecules themselves but also the trucking capacity, the cylinders, the equipment. 

There are thousands of at-home oxygen units with people who have since recovered but have not returned them yet. Everyone who no longer needs their at-home oxygen equipment is asked to return it as soon as possible. This equipment helps hospitals discharge patients who just need extra oxygen but don’t necessarily need to be in the hospital.

The state is taking additional actions to address the supply problem, including:  

Working with industry to expand capacity and keep hospital oxygen systems running
Staging two oxygen Response Teams in the Los Angeles Region
Increasing access to home oxygen
Leasing 4 mobile oxygen systems
Deploying 363 Oxygen Concentrators
Ensure facilities are aware of the issues associated with high flow oxygen usage within hospital facilities.
Support facilities with enhanced resources to ensure issues are addressed rapidly with scalable solutions.

Cal OES said the State will continue its all of government approach, including working closely with the private sector, to solve the most pressing issues facing our medical system from this unprecedented surge.

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