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Savanna-la-Mar Hospital to get piped medical gases next year

Published:Tuesday | December 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas/ Gleaner Writer


Come next year, the Savanna-la-Mar Public Hospital in Westmoreland will no longer have to rely on its heavy portable cylinders for medical air and oxygen, as the facility will be equipped with pipes that will supply the entire institution.

Dr Alfred Dawes, senior medical officer at the Type B facility, told The Gleaner yesterday that a contract had been signed for the piping project, which could be ready for use before the end of January.

"A contract was awarded to outfit the hospital with piping for medical gases, which would be medical air and medical oxygen, as well as central suction. We had a meeting two weeks ago with the contractor, and we're supposed to plan for the project with a tentative start time in the second week of January," said Dawes.

The outfitting of pipes to supply the hospital with medical gases would replace the current practice of transporting heavy cylinders of oxygen and other gases throughout the facility to provide treatment to patients.

"At present, we literally have to be rolling cylinders of air and oxygen around, and there are serious issues when it comes to logistics, because the delivery times are fixed," said Dawes.

"Whenever we have patients on the ventilator for life support, or if we have increased numbers of surgeries, we'll have situations where we run critically low on oxygen and medical gas, and then have to suspend surgeries in order to keep the supply we have just in case somebody needs critical care," added the senior medical officer.