Workers refill oxygen tanks at a shop in Metro Manila after demand increased last week due to more COVID-19 infections.
MANILA, Philippines — The country has enough supply of medical oxygen, but the problem lies in the slow turnaround in the return of empty cylinder tanks used in hospitals, according to the Philippine Confederation of Industrial Gases Inc. (PCIGI).
PCIGI president Raymond Chu said in an interview with dzBB yesterday there is no shortage in oxygen supply in the country at the moment.
“We have the capability to produce oxygen, maybe at around 700 tons per day that is medical grade and industrial oxygen. Medical grade is at around 220 tons per day,” he said.
When it comes to oxygen cylinder tanks, he said the country has more than enough even if demand would double or triple.
The problem, however, is in the return of empty cylinder tanks used by patients in hospitals.
“There are many idle cylinders in the hospitals,” Chu said.
He said a patient can consume one cylinder in less than two hours, and it takes 10 days for the used cylinder tanks to be returned to suppliers.
With demand coming from fast consumption of oxygen, he said it is important to also have a quick turnaround in the return of cylinder tanks so these can be refilled by suppliers.
He said a one week turnaround would already make a difference.
To address the problem, he said there should be a designated person in the hospital to coordinate with suppliers on the handling of cylinder tanks.
Original reference: Oxygen supply enough, but tank turnaround slow | Philstar.com (philstar.com)