An NHS hospital’s oxygen supply has reached a “critical situation” as staff treat a rising number of Covid-19 patients.
Mid and South Essex NHS foundation trust said in a letter to staff that the amount of oxygen used to treat patients at Southend University hospital should be reduced.
The document, shown to the BBC, said: “We have reached a critical situation with oxygen supply. It is imperative we use oxygen safely and efficiently.
“All patients should have a target saturation of 88-92%. Patients with a saturation above 92% which are on oxygen should have their oxygen weaned within the target range.
“I can assure all that maintaining saturations within this target range is safe and no patient will come to harm as a result. It is imperative that this is acted on immediately.”
Yvonne Blucher, managing director of Southend hospital, said: “We are experiencing high demand for oxygen because of rising numbers of inpatients with Covid-19 and we are working to manage this. The public can play their part by staying home and, where they cannot, following the ‘hands, face, space’ advice to cut the spread of the virus.”
Essex has some of the highest Covid-19 case rates in the country.
In the seven days to 4 January, Southend had a rate of 1,234.7 new cases per 100,000 people, with 2,261 new cases recorded.
The first NHS doctor to die after contracting coronavirus, Dr Habib Zaidi, died at Southend hospital in March last year. The GP, who worked in Leigh-on-Sea, was 76.
Southend hospital’s oxygen supply reaches ‘critical situation’ The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ The Guardian.