Don't hoard oxygen, taking it casually is harmful, warns AIIMS chief

Randeep Guleria (Photo: ANI)

Emphasising on judicious use of oxygen, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said if a person's oxygen saturation is 93 per cent to 99 per cent, then that person does not need oxygen, and taking it will instead be harmful.

At a talk organised by the Centre's citizen engagement platform, MyGovIndia, Guleria said one of the treatments for Covid-19 is oxygen, but it has to be used judiciously. He added that when a person has pneumonia or chronic lung disease when saturation falls, then oxygen is a treatment, given sometimes for a short duration, but sometimes people are on long-term oxygen therapy.

"Important issue here is that taking oxygen intermittently, your saturation is alright, but you say let me take it for half an hour after my meals or if I take oxygen for few hours in the day, my saturation goes up. I am feeling better, and I should continue oxygen, is actually a waste of it. There is no data to show this will be of any help to you," said Guleria.

"Many patients have started keeping oxygen cylinders at home and taking it 30 min for 2 hour or 3 hours, this is more harmful and again denying people who need it."

Guleria clarified that those individuals who are having an oxygen saturation of 93-94, there is no need to take high flow oxygen to maintain their saturation at 98 or 99, as it is not going to be of any benefit. He stressed as a country, collectively, if we work together and say we use remdesivir judiciously and use oxygen judiciously, there will no shortage of oxygen in Maharashtra, Delhi, Chhattisgarh or in any other state.

He reiterated that remdesivir is no magic-bullet, and more than 85 per cent recover from Covid without taking this drug. "In a small set of people, remdesivir is required. Does not show any decreases in mortality; it only shows reduced hospital stay... and not a magic bullet," said Guleria.

Elaborating on the utility of getting vaccinated, Guleria said some people raised questions that what is the point in getting vaccinated, if after two weeks persons turn out to be Covid-19 positive. "Vaccine prevents from getting the disease and not infection. It prevents from infection turning into severe illness and going to ICU...," he clarified.

Guleria added the antibodies produced by vaccine will not allow the infection to become a severe disease, and emphasised that even after getting vaccinated, it is important to wear a mask. He stressed that people should follow Covid appropriate behaviour, as it is important to bring down the number of cases by breaking the chain of transmission.

--IANS

ss/vd


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel