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Oxygen Expresses brave Cyclone to bring relief across nation

 

The country is fighting a fierce battle with COVID and facing the menace of the cyclone at the same time. 

However, the Indian Railways is ensuring that the cyclone does not hamper its journey of bringing relief by delivering Liquid Medical Oxygen(LMO) to various states across the country. 

In a scale-up of operations which continued till late last night, 12 Oxygen Expresses with 969 MT of LMO started their journeys from the Cyclone hit Eastern States and beat tough weather to take relief to the Nation, a release issued by the Ministry of Railways said.

These 12 Oxygen Expresses include 3 trains for Tamil Nadu, 4 trains for Andhra Pradesh and 1 each for Delhi region, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam & Kerala.

Amongst the Southern States, delivery of LMO to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana has crossed 1000 MT each.

Oxygen relief by Oxygen Expresses reached out to 15 states namely Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Telangana, Punjab, Kerala, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Assam.

The release informed that 614 MT of Oxygen has been offloaded in Maharashtra, nearly 3731 MT in Uttar Pradesh, 633 MT in Madhya Pradesh, 4910 MT in Delhi, 1911 MT in Haryana, 98 MT in Rajasthan, 1653 MT in Karnataka, 320 MT in Uttarakhand, 1158 MT in Tamil Nadu, 929 MT in Andhra Pradesh, 225 MT in Punjab, 246 MT in Kerala, 1312 MT in Telangana, 38 MT in Jharkhand and 160 MT in Assam.

Crisscrossing the country, Indian Railways is picking up oxygen from places like Hapa, Baroda, Mundra in the West and Rourkela, Durgapur, Tatanagar, Angul in the East and then delivering it to States of Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Telangana, Punjab, Kerala, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Assam in complex operational route planning scenarios.

The average speed of these critical Freight trains is way above 55 in most cases over long distances. Running on high priority Green Corridor, with the highest sense of urgency, operational teams of various zones are working round the clock to ensure that Oxygen reaches within the fastest possible time frame. Technical stoppages have been reduced to 1 minute for crew changes over different sections.

Tracks are kept open and high alertness is maintained to ensure that Oxygen Express keeps zipping through.

#OxygenExpress #Oxygen #IndianRailways
26-May-2021
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Oxygen Expresses deliver more than 8700 MT of Liquid Medical Oxygen to Nation

 

Overcoming all hurdles and finding new solutions during the fight against COVID-19, Indian Railways is continuing its journey of bringing relief by delivering Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) to various states across the country.

Indian Railways has till now delivered more than 8,700 MT of LMO in more than 540 tankers to various states across the country. As many as 139 Oxygen Expresses have completed their journey so far and brought relief to various States.

Oxygen Expresses have been delivering nearly 800 MT of LMO to the Nation each day for the last few days. It is Indian Railways endeavour to deliver as much LMO as possible in the shortest time possible to the requesting states.

Till the time of this release, so far 521 MT of Oxygen has been offloaded in Maharashtra, nearly 2350 MT in UP, 430 MT in MP, 1228 MT in Haryana, 308 MT in Telangana, 40 MT in Rajasthan, 361 MT in Karnataka, 200 MT in Uttarakhand, 111 MT in Tamil Nadu, 40 MT in Andhra Pradesh and more than 3084 MT in Delhi

Running of new Oxygen is a very dynamic exercise and figures keep getting updated all the time. More loaded Oxygen Expresses are expected to start their journeys later in the night.

Railways has mapped different routes with Oxygen supply locations and keeps itself ready with any emerging need of the States.

#OxygenExpress #Oxygen #IndianRailways
15-May-2021
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First Oxygen Tanker leaves Sterlite

 

The first tanker carrying 4.8 tons of liquid oxygen produced in Sterlite Copper Oxygen Plant has left for Tirunelveli/Thoothukudi today, Vendanta firm informed through a statement.

The firm also said that it will be dispatching two oxygen tankers on a daily basis, to begin with, and gradually scale this up as the production gets expanded.

The Supreme Court had recently allowed Vedanta to operate an oxygen production unit at its Sterlite copper plant in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, on a stand-alone basis to address the increased demand for oxygen due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation. The production commenced in the plant on May 12th.

#Oxygen #Sterlite
13-May-2021
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PM CARES Fund approves procurement of 1.5 lakh units of SpO2

 

PM CARES Fund has accorded sanction for procurement of 1,50,000 units of 'Oxycare' system developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at a cost of Rs 322.5 crore.

Oxycare is a SpO2 based Oxygen Supply System which regulates the oxygen being administered to patients based on the sensed SpO2 levels. Under this sanction, 1,00,000 manual and 50,000 automatic Oxycare systems along with non-rebreather masks are being procured.

The Oxycare system delivers supplemental oxygen based on the SpO2 levels and prevents the person from sinking into a state of hypoxia which can be fatal. This system was developed by Defence Bio-Engineering & Electro Medical Laboratory (DEBEL), Bengaluru of DRDO for soldiers posted at extreme high-altitude areas. The system is indigenously developed for operation in field conditions and is robust. It can be effectively used to treat COVID-19 patients.

Two variants of the system have been configured. The basic version consists of a 10-litre oxygen cylinder, a pressure regulator cum flow controller, a humidifier and a nasal cannula. The oxygen flow is regulated manually based on the SpO2 readings. In the second configuration, the oxygen cylinder is equipped with electronic controls which automatically regulates the oxygen flow through a low-pressure regulator and a SpO2 probe.

The SpO2 Based Oxygen Supply System optimises the consumption of oxygen based on the SpO2 reading of the patient and effectively increases the endurance of the portable oxygen cylinder. The threshold SpO2 value for initiating flow from the system can be adjusted by the health staff. A display is provided for continuously monitoring the SpO2 levels. Workload and exposure of healthcare providers are considerably reduced by eliminating the need for routine measurements and manual adjustments of oxygen flow.

The automatic system also provides a suitable audio warning for various failure scenarios including low SpO2 values and probe disconnections. The non-rebreather masks are integrated with the Oxycare Systems for efficient use of oxygen which results in saving of Oxygen by 30-40 per cent. The non-rebreather masks need to be changed for every patient. These Oxycare systems can be used at Homes, Quarantine Centres, COVID Care Centres and Hospitals.

The DRDO has transferred the technology to multiple industries in India which will be producing the Oxycare systems.

#Oxygen #PMCARESFund
12-May-2021
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Major disaster averted in Karnataka hospital

 

A major disaster that could have spelt doom to many lives due to shortage of oxygen at KC General Hospital in Malleshwaram has been averted by the timely action taken by Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwatha Narayana and alertness exhibited by Dr Renuka Prasad, who was monitoring the oxygen supply vertical in the hospital.

The hospital has an oxygen storage tank of 6 tonnes capacity and by late yesterday barely 0.5 tonnes was remaining. About 200 patients were being on treatment in oxygenated beds. The oxygen supply which was supposed to come from a private company from Bellary (ProxAir) did not arrive. This aroused anxious moments in the staff of the hospital and then Dr Renuka Prasad apprised Ashwatha Narayana about the severity of the situation.

Immediately, Narayana, also MLA from Malleshwaram, sensed the gravity of the context and identified another private company (Universal Company) located in Dabaspete on the Bengaluru-Pune National Highway (NH 48), at a distance of about 50 KM from the city, where the oxygen was available. He ordered the company to provide 20 Jumbo Cylinders. The company responded positively and agreed to send oxygen in a tanker to the hospital.

In the meantime, the task force head alerted the traffic police to ensure zero traffic on the way from Dabaspete to the point of reach in Malleshwaram. The oxygen tank was refilled to 5.5 tonnes that are about 90% of the storage capacity, by 5 am on Thursday early hours. Had the oxygen did not arrive it might have lead to another incident ending many lives.

The staff of the hospital also played a crucial role throughout the night by monitoring the oxygen requirements of the patients. Till the oxygen arrived they managed with the limited available oxygen by analyzing the requirement individually.

The Task Force Head and DyCM who himself took the lead in this timely action was awake till 4.30 am. The decision which was taken by Ashwatha Narayana quite a few months back to assign the monitoring of each of the sections of the hospital to various medical officers also came in handy. The DyCM also commended the efforts of the staff of the hospital.

#COVID19 #Oxygen #Karnataka
06-May-2021
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INS Talwar arrives with first consignment of Oxygen from Bahrain

 

INS Talwar has arrived at New Mangalore with the first consignment of Oxygen from Bahrain.

Vice Admiral MS Pawar, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff speaks on the progress of Operation Samudra Setu II and the arrival of the first consignment of Liquid Medical Oxygen onboard INS Talwar at New Mangalore...

"As a part of the ongoing National effort to fight the Covid 19 pandemic, the Indian Navy has launched Operation Samudra Setu II to bring in by sea the much-needed Oxygen and associated medical supplies from friendly foreign countries. As many as nine warships have been diverted to various ports in the region extending from Kuwait in the West to Singapore in the East.

Shortly after noon, today INS Talwar with 50 tons of oxygen lifted from Manama in Bahrain would dock at the port of New Mangalore.

Additionally INS Airavat from Singapore and INS Kolkata from Kuwait are heading back home with Liquid Oxygen, Oxygen filled cylinders, cryogenic tanks and other medical equipment.

While, three more warships are scheduled to pick up more supplies from Kuwait and Doha, the LPD INS Jalashwa, mission deployed in South East Asia is ready to be diverted to ports in the region as situation demands.

Just as last year Indian Navy had launched Operation Samudra Setu to repatriate our distressed citizens from IOR countries, let me assure the countrymen that the Navy will continue with its efforts to bring relief and together, we will overcome this challenge."

#IndianNavy #Oxygen
05-May-2021
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FAQs on Oxygen Concentrators

 

The increase in the number of COVID-19 cases across the country has led to a big spike in demand for oxygen concentrators.

However, many people don't know about what oxygen concentrators are and how to use them.

Here's a quick lowdown on the same.

To survive, we need a steady supply of oxygen, flowing from our lungs to various cells in the body. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that affects our lungs and can cause the oxygen level to drop to dangerous levels. In such a situation, we would need to undergo what is known as oxygen therapy – using oxygen for medical treatment, to enhance our oxygen levels to clinically acceptable levels.

Oxygen level is measured by oxygen saturation, known briefly as SpO2. This is a measure of the amount of oxygen-carrying haemoglobin in the blood. A healthy individual with normal lungs will have an arterial oxygen saturation of 95% – 100%.

According to a WHO training manual on pulse oximetry, if the oxygen saturation is 94% or lower, the patient needs to be treated quickly. A saturation of less than 90% is a clinical emergency. Hence, to maintain an adequate level of oxygen an Oxygen Concentrator is needed.

Oxygen Concentrator – how does it work?

We know that atmospheric air has roughly 78 per cent nitrogen and 21 per cent oxygen. Oxygen concentrators are simple devices that do precisely what their name promises – they take in ambient air and increase the oxygen concentration, by filtering out and throwing away nitrogen.

These Oxygen concentrators work the same way in supplying oxygen needed by the body such as oxygen tanks or cylinders, with the use of a cannula, oxygen masks or nasal tubes. The difference is that, while the cylinders need to be refilled, the Oxygen Concentrators can work 24 x 7.

So, who can use them, and when?

Does this mean that anyone who finds their oxygen level falling below acceptable levels can use a concentrator and help oneself? Absolutely not.

Speaking to PIB on the appropriate usage of concentrators, Professor and Head of Department Anaesthesia, B. J. Medical College, Pune, Prof. Sanyogita Naik said: "Oxygen concentrators can be used only in moderate cases of COVID-19 when the patient experiences drop in oxygen levels, where the oxygen requirement is a maximum of 5 litres per minute."

The professor added that oxygen concentrators are also very useful for patients experiencing post-COVID complications which necessitate oxygen therapy.

Can we use them on our own?

The answer is a strict no. Speaking at a webinar organized by PIB on April 30th, Dr Chaitanya H Balakrishnan, Covid Co-ordinator, St. John's Medical College Hospital, Bangalore made it abundantly clear that using oxygen concentrator without medical guidance can be very harmful. "Patients with moderate pneumonia induced by COVID-19 - with oxygen saturation less than 94 - can benefit from supplemental oxygen given through oxygen concentrator, but only till they get hospital admission. However, patients using it themselves without suitable medical advice can be harmful."

Dr Chaitanya summarised saying, "So, till you get a bed, oxygen concentrator can be beneficial, but definitely not without guidance from chest physician or internal medicine specialist. It also depends on patients' pre-existing lung conditions."

Prof Sanyogita too says that both purchase and usage of concentrators is to be done only based on prescription by a medical doctor.  Depending upon the capacity, O2 Concentrators cost upwards of Rs 30,000. 

O2 Concentrators market in India

India has seen a big spurt in the manufacture and sale of Oxygen concentrators. Besides multi-national brands, several Indian start-ups, funded under the CAWACH (Centre for Augmenting War with Covid 19 Health Crisis) programme of the Department of Science & Technology, have developed efficient and cost-effective Oxygen Concentrators.

Given their usefulness during the second wave of Covid Pandemic, 1 lakh Oxygen Concentrators are being procured through PM CARES fund.

#Oxygen
01-May-2021
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Oxygen Express Operations expand to Haryana and Telangana

 

After Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, Oxygen Express Operations of Indian Railways has been expanded to the States of Haryana and Telangana. 

Continuing the momentum, there are three more trains on the run either carrying Liquid Oxygen or on the way to the loading plants. It is expected that cumulative liquid medical oxygen (LMO) carried by Indian railways will reach almost 640 MT in the next 24 hours.

Uttar Pradesh received its Oxygen express no. 5 carrying 76.29 MT of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) today in 5 tankers. 1 Tanker was offloaded in Varanasi while the remaining 4 tankers are offloaded in Lucknow. Train no. 6 is already on its way to Lucknow and is expected to arrive tomorrow i.e. 30 Apr 2021 carrying 33.18 MT LMO in 4 tankers. Another empty rake is expected to leave Lucknow today for bringing the next set of oxygen tankers.

Haryana will receive its first Oxygen express as a train with two tankers is expected to leave Angul (Orissa) today. Empty rake from Faridabad to Rourkela is also on its way and is expected to reach tonight. Telangana Government has also requested Indian Railways for Oxygen express. An empty rake is on its way from Secunderabad to Angul with 5 empty tankers and is expected to reach Angul tomorrow.

Railways are in full preparedness for providing oxygen transportation services to all the states in need. In the ongoing operation, States provide tankers to the Railways. Railways then proceeds in the fastest feasible mode to bring the Oxygen supplies from the locations and delivers them to the requisitioning State. The deployment and use of this Oxygen is done by the State Government.

Liquid Oxygen being a cryogenic cargo has many limitations like the maximum speed at which it can be carried, maximum acceleration and deceleration and loading restrictions like availability of liquid oxygen tankers and loading ramps etc. Route mapping also takes care of the maximum clearances available along the route (because of various RUBs and FOBs).

#Oxygen
29-April-2021
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IIT Bombay comes up with ingenious solution to address oxygen shortage

 

With the spike in the number of COVID cases across the country, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay has come up with a creative and ingenious solution to addressing the shortage of medical oxygen for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The pilot project which has been tested successfully relies on a simple technological hack: conversion of PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) Nitrogen Unit to PSA Oxygen Unit.

Initial tests done at IIT Bombay have shown promising results. Oxygen production could be achieved at 3.5 atm pressure, with a purity level of 93 per cent - 96 per cent. This gaseous oxygen can be utilised for COVID-related needs across existing hospitals and upcoming COVID-19 specific facilities by providing a continuous supply of oxygen.

How can the nitrogen unit be converted into an oxygen unit? "It has been done by fine-tuning the existing Nitrogen Plant setup and changing the molecular sieves from Carbon to Zeolite" says Prof Milind Atrey, Dean (R&D), IIT Bombay, who led the project.

"Such nitrogen plants, which take air from the atmosphere as raw material, are available in various industrial plants across India. Therefore, each of them could potentially be converted into an oxygen generator, thus helping us tide over the current public health emergency," he added.

The pilot project is a collaborative effort between IIT Bombay, Tata Consulting Engineers and Spantech Engineers, Mumbai, who deal with PSA Nitrogen and Oxygen plant production.

A PSA Nitrogen plant in the Refrigeration and Cryogenics Laboratory of IIT was identified for conversion, to validate the proof of concept. To undertake this study on an urgent basis, an MoU was signed between IIT Bombay, Tata Consulting Engineers and Spantech Engineers to finalise an SOP that may be leveraged across the country.

Spantech Engineers installed the required plant components as a skid at IIT Bombay for evaluation using IIT Bombay's infrastructure at the IITB Nitrogen facility at the Refrigeration and Cryogenics lab. This setup for the experiment was developed within three days, and the initial tests have shown promising results, as mentioned above.

Prof Milind Atrey acknowledges and thanked Mr Amit Sharma, Managing Director, Tata Consulting Engineers; along with Mr Rajendra Tahiliani, Promoter, Spantech Engineers and alumnus IIT Bombay (1970); Mr Raj Mohan, MD, Spantech Engineers; and their passionate team members for their collaboration and partnership on this project.

#Oxygen
29-April-2021
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DRDO to set up 500 Medical Oxygen Plants within three months under PM CARES Fund

 

DRDO will be setting up 500 Medical Oxygen Plants within three months under the PM CARES Fund.

The Medical Oxygen Plant (MOP) technology, developed by DRDO for On-Board Oxygen Generation for LCA, Tejas by DEBEL will now help in fighting the current crisis of oxygen for COVID-19 patients.

The oxygen plant is designed for a capacity of 1,000 litres per minute (LPM). The system can cater to 190 patients at a flow rate of 5 LPM and charge 195 cylinders per day. 

Transfer of Technology has been done to M/s Tata Advanced Systems Limited, Bengaluru and M/s Trident Pneumatics Pvt. Ltd., Coimbatore, according to an official press release.

They will be producing 380 plants for installation across various hospitals in the country. As many as 120 plants of 500 LPM capacity will be produced by industries working with the Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, belonging to CSIR. 

Oxygen is a very important clinical gas in health care centres and hospitals for the treatment of COVID-19 Patients. Medical Oxygen Plant (MOP) technology is capable of generating the required oxygen concentration which can be directly supplied to hospital beds or can be used to fill medical oxygen cylinders. It utilizes Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) technique and Molecular Sieve (Zeolite) technology to generate oxygen directly from atmospheric air. 

The MOP technology will be useful to provide oxygen supply during Corona Pandemic in hospitals in urban and rural areas. Hospitals will be able to generate on site medical oxygen, in a cost-effective manner with this oxygen plant rather than depending upon sourcing it from other places. 

The installation of this plant helps in avoiding hospital dependency on scarce oxygen cylinders especially at high altitude and inaccessible remote areas. MOP has already been installed at some of the Army sites in North East and Leh-Ladakh region. The plant complies with International Standards like ISO 1008, European, US and Indian Pharmacopeia. Site preparation for 5 plants to be installed in Delhi/NCR region has already been initiated. 

The DRDO has initiated fabrication of 380 numbers of Medical Oxygen Plants with the release of Supply Orders for 332 numbers on M/s Tata Advanced Systems Limited, Bengaluru, and 48 numbers on M/s Trident Pneumatics Pvt. Ltd., Coimbatore with a target of producing 125 plants per month under PM CARES Fund. With this, it is expected that 500 Medical Oxygen Plants will be installed within three months. 

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has appreciated DRDO for using the MOP technology to generate much-needed oxygen for COVID-19 patients which will help in overcoming the present crisis. Secretary Department of Defence R&D & Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy has assured the support of DRDO for use of the technology by hospitals and other health agencies.

#Oxygen #PMCARESFund #DRDO
28-April-2021