Owing to Electricity Outages, Health Experts Advice To Keep Backup Available

by Hirra Azmat

SRINAGAR: With the onset of winter, health experts have advised Covid patients requiring oxygen supply to keep a back-up ready owing to the electricity outages.

The electricity crisis in Kashmir has become a phenomenon owing to the fact that the power department has failed to enhance its transmission capacities to meet the demand for electricity in winter months when the temperature plummets to below zero.

Therefore, the doctors have suggested keeping non-electric dependent oxygen sources like oxygen cylinders at home and remain prepared for all eventualities.

Professor of Surgery, Government Medical College, Dr Iqbal Saleem said the winter has shown its harshness before time along with the erratic power curtailment.

“It would be advisable to have a hybrid inverter system at home as a normal oxygen concentrator requires 300 watts. In Covid times, well-prepared means the difference between life and death,” he wrote on Twitter.

Similarly, a senior resident at SMHS said that the patients should get concentrators which would run on inverter/ generator supply.

“Keeping at least one Oxygen cylinder as a backup, in case of an electrical shutdown. Second, regular monitoring of Oxygen saturation of patients with Pulse oximeters,” he said.

He stressed that the use of Bukharis / Kangris / gas heaters should be discouraged in the room of the patient.

President Doctors Association Kashmir Dr Suhail Naik said that home quarantine and isolation has proved a game-changer in the management of covid pandemic.

“Although home management has decongested the hospitals to a larger extent and has improved psychological stability among masses, many patients among them are oxygen-dependent and require continuous oxygen support,” Dr Naik said.

He noted that the oxygen at home is generated by a medical gadget “oxygen concentrator” which requires uninterrupted electricity for functioning.

“Therefore, during these winters uninterrupted electricity is of utmost importance to save thousands of lives and prolonged load shedding schedules can suffocate many patients simultaneously,” Dr Naik said.

He pointed out that further, a large number of patients who are suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) develop frequent exacerbations during winters and often need oxygen therapy.

“Therefore, this winter it is the moral responsibility of the Power Development Department to provide uninterrupted electricity during coming winters and our prolonged load shedding schedules,” Dr Naik said.

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