Many scheduled surgeries, including those for cancer patients, were cancelled on Wednesday at the Government Medical College Hospital (MCH) in Kozhikode due to a medical oxygen shortage.
The situation began on Tuesday night, according to sources. Alternative measures were taken by the government, although these were not entirely effective. The remaining supply was chosen to be used exclusively for the COVID-19 critical care unit. Only life-threatening operations were permitted.
According to a doctor there, some of the patients were nevertheless shifted to operation theatres on Wednesday morning hoping that somehow a solution could be found. Though the doctors waited till 11 a.m., oxygen supply failed to arrive and the patients were sent back to the wards.
“About 50 scheduled surgeries may have been postponed. Not even one surgery, including those for cancer patients, could be performed till the afternoon on the day,” said the doctor.
It is learnt that technical glitches had hit the plant from where oxygen is supplied to the hospital. Some other doctors said the shortage could also be due to the supply being diverted to a new intensive care unit.
Meanwhile, efforts to arrange for supply from the Calicut International Airport failed to take off. However, fresh stock arrived from Kanjikode in Palakkad district by afternoon. Sources said that this was expected to meet the requirements till Thursday morning.