Health Ministry warns against Unregulated Use of Oxygen in Homes and Other Ungazetted places
The Ministry of Health has warned against an increase in a number of people who are administering Oxygen to the COVID-19 patients within their homes and many other ungazetted places.
In a statement released by Dr. Henry Mwebesa the Director General Ministry of Health, the Oxygen is being purchased from unknown places; some of which are not certified and accredited by the Ministry of Health and National Drug Authority.
“Oxygen is one of the Class A medical supplies that should only be used after proper prescription by medical personnel; and its use should, at all times, be monitored and regulated by a trained health worker. The haphazard Oxygen administration has resulted in deterioration of patients and by the time they are rushed to gazetted hospitals, they are in poor condition and sometimes cannot be helped” Dr. Mwebesa said.
He noted that the public should know that this is very dangerous to the lives of their patients and the entire household where such administration is taking place.
He advised that A COVID-19 patient that requires Oxygen has severe or critical illness. Such cases should be managed in hospitals, not at home. He added that Oxygen administered in unnecessary higher doses/ levels is toxic to a number of vital body organs such as the brain.
“Due to lack of proper regulation and monitoring, a number of patients are deteriorating because of receiving either lower or higher Oxygen doses as the different severity levels may demand. We are even not sure whether or not the oxygen being used is Medical Oxygen or Industrial Oxygen” he said.
He also clarified that not every COVID-19 positive patient requires Oxygen therapy and that Oxygen is highly flammable; its improper use and management can cause dangerous fires to the household and the entire community.
He urged the public to desist from this dangerous practice with immediate effect. He also advised health workers who are administering oxygen in undesignated hospitals to immediately stop this malpractice.
“The Ministry of Health advises the public to seek care for those who are found positive with COVID-19 from their nearest health facilities.”