Hospital turns people away after oxygen system hits maximum capacity

Kirsty O'Connor/Press Wire

Hospitals in Hertfordshire have warned that Covid-19 is putting pressure on the oxygen supply (Photo: PA).

The hospital was forced to reject patients after the oxygen system had reached its maximum capacity due to the influx of coronaviruses.

Watford General Hospital announced a critical incident for Saturday and urged people to use other hospitals with emergency departments and withdraw some existing patients.

The authorities stated at the time that the solution was due to a technical problem with the oxygen device, but it has since emerged that a large number of Kovid-19 patients have practically overloaded the device.

The director of the NHS Trust responsible for the hospital, Christine Allen, said on Tuesday that we weren’t running out of oxygen, but that our system was working at maximum capacity, so we had to reduce demand and make some adjustments to make it run safely.

Sean Hunsford/Manchester Evening News/PA wired

Respiratory protective devices used for patients with severe symptoms require oxygen retention (Photo: PA)

Mrs. Allen’s confirmed patients were transferred to other hospitals and closed their doors for newcomers so that existing patients could get enough oxygen.

She added that such incidents could recur in the course of the epidemic.

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Stored oxygen is needed for blowers and CPAP (Constant Positive Airway Pressure) devices used for the treatment of the most severely ill patients with coronavirus.

In severe cases, hospital physicians first try to lie forward (pronounce) because it is known that this improves the ability of the lungs to absorb oxygen, but if this does not work, machines are used to help them breathe.

The Hertfordshire region has come under great pressure as a result of the epidemic and only exceeds London, Birmingham, Hampshire, Essex and Surrey in terms of the number of infections.

Last week the local health authorities were so worried about the oxygen supply that they warned the military that they might need their help.

The doctor in charge told The Guardian: They [consulted] the hospital’s ethics committee on a daily basis and decided who would not get oxygen and ventilation if necessary and who would be tripled so that they would not get oxygen and would not die.

The Trust insists that its decision on Saturday meant that nobody had to go without oxygen.

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