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Home / Health & Science

KNH experiences severe oxygen shortage

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy MERCY KAHENDA | Tue,Apr 06 2021 15:01:41 EAT
By MERCY KAHENDA | Tue,Apr 06 2021 15:01:41 EAT


Kenyatta National Hospital nurse. [Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

Health services at Kenya’s biggest referral hospital, Kenyatta National Hospital, are grinding to a halt following a severe acute shortage of medical oxygen.

The hospital has attributed this to a surge of Covid-19 patients in need of care.

The hospital has therefore cancelled elective surgeries and directed discharge of all patients who had been booked for surgeries.

Covid 19 Time Series


"...discharge all elective awaiting surgery till the situation normalises," a section of the internal memo from the facility reads.

The management of the facility has linked oxygen shortage to a national challenge in managing patients, amid the Covid-19 third wave.

"Following a nationwide challenge on availability of oxygen as a result of Covid-19 pandemic, the hospital is experiencing very low hospital-wide oxygen pressure to run our machines this has affected all our theatres, ICU and Mbagathi IDU," adds another notice from the Biomedical Engineering department.

According to management, the supply of oxygen by BOC Kenya has been low every day.

"The purpose of this letter is to recommend for temporary suspension of theatre electives, as we monitor the situation in the case of the day,” Biological Engineering boss Chepkonga noted.

Meanwhile, the biomedical department has notified clinicians that oxygen is available for only two theatres which will run emergencies in maternity and main theatre.

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