Hospitals asked to clean up oxygen cylinders

PESO claims the used cylinders were found not disinfected well

Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives R. Venugopal, who is also the Nodal Officer for Oxygen Monitoring in Kerala and Lakshadweep, has given a call to hospitals to clean up the oxygen cylinders prior to collection by the gas supplier.

The authorities have also asked the institutions to ensure identification of externally contaminated cylinders with clear marking or labelling. The authorities also said that cylinders pick-up area should be located away from the patient wards and infection areas of a hospital.

Dr. Venugopal said it was brought to the attention of Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) that medical oxygen cylinders brought to some of the filling plants in Kerala and Tamil Nadu were not disinfected properly and that workers in these plants were infected and if such things happen, it would be difficult to run the medical oxygen plant 24X7. District Medical Officers would have to advise all the hospitals to disinfect the medical oxygen cylinders at their end and send them to the filling plants.

Kerala hospitals are supplied with the vital gas from institutions like the KMML, which is supplying six tonnes per day; BPCL, which is supplying 0.322 tonnes per day, and Cochin Shipyard Limited, which is supplying 5.45 tonnes per day. The total capacity now is around 204 tonnes per day with various other facilities, including the recently commissioned Palakkad plant.

PESO, a department under the Government of India, is responsible for monitoring and ensuring ample supply of medical oxygen in the country, he added. The State government nodal officers verify the need from each district and provide data to the PESO nodal officers. PESO, which regulates compressed gas supplies and plants, collect data from oxygen manufacturers and fillers and ensure that oxygen reaches the hospitals.

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