Worse of covid increases demand and city of SP starts delivering oxygen plants

The City of São Paulo delivered on Wednesday, 31, the first of 19 oxygen generating plants in health units in the capital. The inaugural installation was at the Municipal Hospital Capela do Socorro, south zone. The expectation is that each of them will produce 9 thousand m³ of oxygen per day, equivalent to 900 cylinders. The total investment of the municipality will be R $ 9.5 million. With the explosion of cases of covid-19 in the city, there was an extra demand for hospital supplies.

According to infectious disease Marcos Antônio Cyrillo, from Hospital do Servidor Público Municipal, an average hospital in the pandemic has used 400 to 500 m³ of oxygen per month. “The construction of the plants is extremely important”, he says. “It is an input that is really missing in all hospitals in the city, with lesser or greater intensity.”

The Municipal Health Department says that the demand for oxygen grew 121% in March compared to January, but there is no shortage. He also informed that the plants will be permanent, with enough volume to supply 596 infirmary beds and 211 ICUs in municipal hospitals, day hospitals and emergency care units (UPAs).

Of the expected total, six more plants will be delivered by the 15th – another at the Capela do Socorro, and others at the Sorocabana Municipal Hospital, UPA Jabaquara and Dia Tito Lopes, Flávio Gianotti and M’Boi Mirim Hospitals 2. The remaining 12 must be delivered until the end of the month at the Hospitals Dia Itaim Paulista, São Matheus (Tietê 2), São Miguel, Brasilândia, Butantã, Lapa, Mooca, Penha, Vila Prudente, Campo Limpo, Cidade Ademar and M’Boi Mirim 1.

The production of the plants can be distributed directly through the hospital’s piping and also filled in cylinders to serve other units. “Nobody expected this sudden increase in demand. As it is not very simple to implement these plants, for security reasons, it took a while. The ideal was to have done it before. But the important thing is that it is being done now”, recognizes Cyrillo.

João Delgado, executive technology director of the Brazilian Association of the Machinery and Equipment Industry (Abimaq), says that maintaining an oxygen plant like the one installed on Wednesday is simple. It basically requires monitoring the compression pump, filters and observing if the pressure is within the limit. But it is too early to say whether there will be an economic benefit.

“I don’t know if it will save money, because it depends on several factors, such as logistics for distribution, investment for the installation of pipes”, says Delgado. “It will undoubtedly generate greater independence for hospitals, which will not depend so much on supplying third parties. The savings account will have to be done later.”

In addition to the plants, the city obtained a donation of 400 oxygen cylinders from the Federation of Industries of the State (Fiesp). The Municipality also announced this Wednesday another 60 ICU beds and 180 infirmary beds, and 55 beds for the treatment of other illnesses, all in partnership with private companies. According to the City Hall, the occupancy of the ICU this Wednesday was 91% and the ward, 85%.

Council says 120 municipalities in São Paulo have critical stocks

A survey by the Council of Municipal Secretaries of Health of São Paulo this week showed that 120 municipalities in São Paulo had, on the 27th, a critical situation of inventory of gaseous oxygen cylinders. The list includes cities in the metropolitan region, such as Franco da Rocha; Baixada, as Santos; and inland, like Ribeirão Preto.

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