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Western Cape on sufficient oxygen supplies to hospitals

14 Jan 2021

Dashboard provides detailed daily information on oxygen usage

The Western Cape Government has put in place systems and interventions to ensure sufficient oxygen supplies to hospitals in the province to cater for high numbers of hospitalisations in the peak of the resurgence.

Over the past week, the combined oxygen utilisation for public and private hospitals in the province has been approximately 73 tonnes daily. This is still above the total production output of 70 tonnes for Afrox's Western Cape plant. We have however been working closely with the supplier and have secured additional supply from outside of the province. The Western Cape now has five bulk oxygen tankers allocated for the daily delivery of oxygen supplies to individual hospitals.

We continue to monitor our oxygen utilisation carefully, using a specially designed internal dashboard.

This dashboard is updated daily with the latest information so that the Department of Health and individual facilities can monitor their oxygen consumption.

It provides detailed information including historical usage and bulk storage space available across the system and at a facility level.

This allows us to get a view of the whole system to monitor oxygen usage across the province, allowing us to identify and address any pressure points early on.

The system also allows facility managers to simulate patient numbers based on that facility's specifications, allowing them to determine how changes in patient profile would impact oxygen supply.

For facilities which do not have bulk oxygen supply, the dashboard allows them to estimate the number and size of oxygen cylinders they would need to order to provide specific treatment. It also includes a reporting tool wo determine daily pressure points in the system with regard to the timeous delivery of cylinders.

The oxygen data also links into our tracking systems for beds and available staff. These three elements are key to us providing appropriate healthcare to all who need it, and these tools give us a full overview of the capacity of our healthcare system on any given day.

Our hospitals continue to experience extreme pressure and we call on residents to stay vigilant in implementing prevention measures in their daily lives. Wearing your mask, practicing good hygiene and social distancing remain key in Covid-19 prevention. It is important that you avoid crowded places, confined spaces and close contact. Wherever possible, ensure that there is fresh air circulating when you come into contact with others, by going outside, or by opening doors and windows in offices, and in businesses.

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