Hospitals in the southern parts of the country are reporting oxygen shortages. This, according to health officials, is the result of the continuing surge of COVID 19 infections and hospitalizations.
A vast majority of people in these regions still remain unvaccinated. The more dangerous and virulent Delta variant too is believed to be responsible for the present situation.
A large number of hospitals in the States like Texas, Florida, and Louisiana have reported a shortage of oxygen. Some are forced to use their reserves. Some are facing the threat of running out of oxygen, officials warn.
Surge In COVID 19 Cases Leads To Oxygen Shortage In The US
Demand for oxygen has been increasing at an alarming pace. And hospitals may not be able to keep up with the pace, they said.
Oxygen tanks are filled up to 90%. And they refill them when there is 30% left in them. This ensures storage of supply for 4-5 days. At present, hospitals are able to refill their tanks when only 10-20% is left. This leaves just 1-2 days of stock before they can refill them. Even when they refill, they do it just 50%. The situation, authorities say, is quite complicated.
Florida reported the highest number of hospitalizations in the country on Saturday; 75 for 100000 residents were hospitalized with the infection. On Friday, it reached another height, 690.5 for 100000 residents. This is the number for the time period of August 20 to 26.
Doctors are frustrated with the situation. According to them, this is the result of people taking wrong decisions; their reluctance to get inoculated. The Delta variant eats into a person’s lungs and he collapses. They are seeing patients die faster this time.
The trend, according to them, is quite worrying. They are witnessing younger patients; in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. They come gasping for oxygen and die.
Experts predict that another 100000 people will die by December. They also remind that this is something they could have avoided if more people take vaccines seriously.
In a hospital, there is not even a single vaccinated COVID 19 patient in its ICU. It is not even seeing any vaccinated person die due to the disease. There exists no magic cure, it points out.
There is only one tool and that is vaccination which prevents severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
Experts now appeal to the more than 80000000 eligible unvaccinated Americans to get inoculated at the earliest. If they had done it earlier, they could have prevented this from happening.
52.4% of the residents of Florida are fully vaccinated. The same is less than 50% in the States like Texas and Louisiana. Both are reporting oxygen shortages. Studies reveal that full protection is a must to stay safe from the Delta variant. According to CDC, the national percentage of vaccination is 52.1%.
The percentage of vaccination in Louisiana is the lowest in the country; 41.2%. The State is dealing with a surge of COVID 19 cases along with hurricane Ida. The State is seeing a decline in hospitalization in recent days. Still, it remains one among the highest in the country.
Evacuating hospitals in the path of the upcoming Ida hurricane is a daunting job. There is no space anywhere either inside or outside the State, health officials say. They will also need to handle those injured due to the hurricane. They have to make sure that there is some space to accommodate them.
Health officials are also worried about long power outages. Hundreds of workers are ready to assist with the restoration of power as required. Bringing back power at the earliest is something of great significance. All the parishes here are high-transmission zones. Louisiana, in particular, is heading for trouble; authorities warn.