WESTERN CAPE NEWS - The Western Cape Government has put in place systems and interventions to ensure sufficient oxygen supplies to hospitals in the province to cater for high numbers of hospitalisations in the peak of the resurgence, according to Dr Keith Cloete, the provincial head of Health.
During a digital conference on Tuesday Cloete said that over the past week, the combined oxygen utilisation for public and private hospitals in the province has been approximately 73 tons daily.
"This is still above the total production output of 70 tons for Afrox's Western Cape plant. We have however been working closely with the supplier and have secured additional supply from outside of the province. The Western Cape now has five bulk oxygen tankers allocated for the daily delivery of oxygen supplies to individual hospitals."
He said the oxygen utilisation is being monitored carefully, using a specially designed internal dashboard. The dashboard is updated daily with the latest information so that the Department of Health and individual facilities can monitor their oxygen consumption.
It provides detailed information including historical usage and bulk storage space available across the system and at a facility level.
"This allows us to get a view of the whole system to monitor oxygen usage across the province, allowing us to identify and address any pressure points early on. The system also allows facility managers to simulate patient numbers based on that facility's specifications, allowing them to determine how changes in patient profile would impact oxygen supply."
For facilities which do not have bulk oxygen supply, the dashboard allows them to estimate the number and size of oxygen cylinders they would need to order to provide specific treatment. It also includes a reporting tool wo determine daily pressure points in the system with regard to the timeous delivery of cylinders.
Linked to bed and staff tracking systems
The oxygen data also links into the province's tracking systems for beds and available staff. These three elements are key to us providing appropriate healthcare to all who need it, and these tools give us a full overview of the capacity of our healthcare system on any given day.
Extreme pressure on hospitals
Hospitals in the pronce continue to experience extreme pressure, said Cloete. "We call on residents to stay vigilant in implementing prevention measures in their daily lives. Wearing your mask, practising good hygiene and social distancing remain key in Covid-19 prevention.
"It is important that you avoid crowded places, confined spaces and close contact. Wherever possible, ensure that there is fresh air circulating when you come into contact with others, by going outside, or by opening doors and windows in offices, and in businesses."
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