Ventilators would be used to treat Covid patients instead of high-flow nasal oxygen (HFNO) to reduce demand on the gas due to surge in cases amid the pandemic’s second wave, Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar said on Tuesday.
“We have decided to use more ventilators for treating severe Covid patients than using HFNO to reduce the increasing demand on medical oxygen in ICUs at state-run and private hospitals,” he told reporters after reviewing the pandemic situation across the state.
As patients with moderate symptoms need 20-60 litres of oxygen per minute, the minister said using non-invasive ventilators as an alternative would reduce dependence on oxygen, which is in shortage due to growing demand from across the country.
“Covid patients will be shifted to ventilator beds from oxygenated beds to reduce demand on HFNO by 80 per cent,” Sudhakar said.
As part of ramping up healthcare infrastructure, the minister said 50 oxygenated beds and six ventilators were given to each taluk hospital across the state over the last eight months.
“Anaesthetists and doctors are being hired on contract for operating ventilators due to lack of specialists at taluk hospitals,” he said.
The state Health Department has also decided to install CCTVs in all Covid designated hospitals across the state to remotely monitor treatment of patients and ensure optimal use of beds.
Admitting that Covid fatality rate in some districts were high, Sudhakar said early detection and treatment were key to recovery and prevent deaths.
“As the positivity rate shot up to 33.09 per cent on Monday, all-out efforts are being made to reduce it to below 5 per cent soon,” he added.