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Oxygen concentrators for COVID patients: Delhi govt issues SOPs


New Delhi, May 15: The Delhi government on Saturday issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) for issuing domiciliary oxygen concentrators for COVID-19 patients who have been discharged from hospitals.

Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the launch of an oxygen concentrator bank for use by patients who are under home isolation.

Arvind Kejriwal

The detailed SOP issued by the Delhi health department said the competent authority has approved the provision of domiciliary oxygen support via provision oxygen concentrators at home for COVID-19 positive patients discharged from coronavirus facilities who are prescribed the same at the time of discharge or thereafter by a treating physician.

"Domiciliary oxygen support will be provided to all patients categorised as moderate to severe who have recovered, are discharged from the COVID-designated facilities (government/ private) and are prescribed domiciliary oxygen support/short-term oxygen therapy (STOT) at home," the SOP read.

The hospital will ensure that the requirement of STOT at home post recovery is clearly mentioned in the discharge slip being provided to patient or care-giver along with estimated prescribed flow-rate, it said.

For issuing oxygen concentrator, voter-id card of the patient or the care-giver is to be obtained which shows the proof of residence. The concentrator will be issued after due inspection and obtaining relevant proof of residence from the owner or person concerned, the SOP further read.

Post verification, an oxygen concentrator and a pulse oxymetre will be provided to a patient and a demonstration of the machine would also be given by a trained person, it said.

The SpO2 level should be monitored by the patient or care-giver every six hours for 14 days, and a written record shall be maintained with date and timing details, the SOP said.

If at any point during the two-week observation period, after discharge from ICU, the oxygen level is recorded less than 93 per cent in two consecutive readings, or less than 93 per cent after three minutes of ambulation, or if nocturnal hypoxia happens with SpO2 level below 93 per cent, then that patient will become eligible for domiciliary STOT, it said.

In that case, a patient or the care-giver can call on 1031 helpline from 9 AM to 6 PM and after tele-consultation with a doctor, an oxygen concentrator will be delivered subject to advise by the doctor, the SOP reads.

The domiciliary STOT facility can be loaned to a patient only for two months, post which it has to be returned to the authorities, it said.

"If oxygen therapy is required after two months, then the patient will be re-evaluated by the physician, and will be prescribed on Long Term Oxygen Therapy (LTOT), as per the existing government policies of the pre-COVID period," the SOP said.

"Also, the domiciliary oxygen support will not include patients already on LTOT (before COVID-19 diagnosis), for other co-existing pulmonary illness," it added.

A nodal officer at district level will coordinate the process along with nodal officers at COVID facilities.

The national capital recorded 6,430 fresh COVID cases and 337 fatalities on Saturday, while the positivity rate dipped to 11.32 per cent, even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asserted that the cases were "slowly and steadily" getting reduced in Delhi.

This is the second consecutive day when Delhi has recorded less than 10,000 cases in a day.

The number of cumulative cases on Saturday stood at 13,87,411. Over 12 lakh patients have recovered from the virus.

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