If we work together, use oxygen, Remdesivir wisely, there will be no shortage: AIIMS Director

April 21, 2021 20:42 IST

New Delhi [India], April 21 (ANI): Amid reports of medical oxygen shortages in surge in COVID-19 outbreaks in the country in the second wave of pandemic, AIIMS Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria said on Wednesday “if we work together and using oxygen and Remdesivir wisely there will be no shortage anywhere ”.
He urged people not to take oxygen unless they required it and noted that taking oxygen intermittently was “a complete waste” of the gas.
“As a country, if we work together, use oxygen and Remdesivir wisely, then, there will be no shortage anywhere whether we’re talking about Maharashtra, Delhi, Chhattisgarh or any state. In terms of number of people which needs oxygen and oxygen supply., we are balanced, “he said.
“But if you suddenly start hoarding oxygen, even if you don’t need it. Then you obviously have a flaw that is self-creating, rather than actually existing. My appeal to people is not take oxygen if it is not required, “he added.
Addressing issues around COVID-19 along with Dr Devi Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Health and Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman, Medanta via videoconferencing, Dr Guleria said there is no data to suggest that Remdesivir taken in mild disease saves lives or wills of any benefit and appeals to citizens not to consider it a “magic bullet”.
“It is important to understand that most of us who are either in solitude or even in hospitals because of panic do not need any specific treatment. Like you who treat simple colds, you can escape cold treatment with most people just take paracetamol and keep yourself well hydrated, “he said.
“Only a small percentage will need drugs such as Remidesivir and there is no data to suggest that Remidesivir taken in mild disease will save lives or have any benefit. The data for Remdesivir does not show, it does deceiving death, only has been shown to reduce the condition of the hospital. “
He said oxygen is very important to those who need it.

“There is a lot of oxygen issue, I agree and this is very important for those who need oxygen. Oxygen is a treatment, it’s like a drug. So it’s very important to understand that one of the treatment for COVID-19 is to give oxygen if you need it, “he said.
“Taking intermittent oxygen is a complete waste of oxygen. There is no data showing that this will help you and so you should not do it. Many patients have started to keep oxygen cylinders at home and have started taking it half an hour or two hours which itself is more damaging and again denies what oxygen is really needed, “he added.
He also explained the concept of oxygen saturation.
“If your oxygen saturation is 92 or 93, or 98-99, the oxygen in the blood is not really very different. There is an oxygen dissociation curve called a sigmoid curve and once you reach a saturation of 90, it’s really flat, even if you go from 92 to 98. Those individuals who get oxygen saturation of 92 or 94, high oxygen need only be taken to maintain your saturation. If your saturation is above 95, you do not need to take oxygen, if it is less than 94, close monitoring is needed but you may still not need oxygen because oxygen is still adequate in blood if the patient is healthy, “he said.
“In some patients, who have chronic disease, you may want to keep the oxygen saturation at the higher point. If these patients have oxygen saturation around 92-94, don’t panic, consult a doctor, you need to monitor oxygen saturation. But it’s not that you should start taking oxygen to maintain your saturation above 97 or 98. It’s not going to be of much benefit, “he added.
Dr Guleria appealed to citizens not to rush to hospitals if they have tested positive for COVID-19 as they can isolate themselves at home.
“Most people don’t need to panic, they can isolate themselves at home, monitor at home, keep yourself hydrated, monitor saturation and consult your doctor if you have any concerns,” he said.
“By rushing to hospital, you’re creating more disorder and you’re not really benefiting yourself and you’re denying a fellow citizen a bed that may be needed and you may not be. We can get it because people who do not give hospital are unnecessary. They don’t need to be in hospital, “he added.
India reported 2,95,041 new COVID-19 cases and 2,023 deaths on Wednesday, the highest number ever since the pandemic began last year. (ANI)