Dr. Henry Mwebesa, the Director General Health Services at the Ministry of Health has warned the public against using oxygen cylinders in homes and other ungazetted places.
With the limited supply of oxygen that hit both government and private hospitals, a number of people rushed to purchase or rent personal oxygen cylinders to manage their patients a home.
In a June 18, 2021 letter, however, Dr. Mwebesa said that this might have negative effects as oxygen should only be administered after proper prescription.
“Oxygen is one of the Class A medical supplies that should only be used after proper prescription by medical personnel; and its use should at all times be monitored and regulated by a trained health worker,” Dr. Mwebesa said.
“The public is therefore urged to desist from this dangerous practice with immediate effect.”
Dr Mwebesa said that as a ministry, they have witnessed scenarios where patients are administered with oxygen in homes and other ungazetted places. The poorly managed treatment leads to a deterioration in their condition and by the time these patients are rushed to hospitals, many of them could not be helped any further.
“Oxygen administered in unnecessary higher doses/levels is toxic to a number of botal body organs such as the brain. Due to lack of proper regulation and monitoring, a number of patients are deteriorating because of receiving either lower or higher oxygen doses as the different severity levels may demand.”
Dr Mwebesa also urged the health workers who help the public to set up oxygen in ungazetted places to stop.