Thread: A practical list of things/checkboxes I've come up with from half a month of everyday battle with critical covid patients. Will keep updating.
1. Buy a pulse oxymeter (many hospitals are asking patients to get their own)
2. If you are a Covid positive caregiver, at all time carry a bottle of tang water or ors in your bag, check your own O2, take your own zinc and multivitamins.
3. Anyone who asks to send full advance for a cylinder ahead of delivery, say you will pick it up from them yourself
9/10 are frauds who will disconnect your call. Those delivering cylinders, genuine, will have no problem you picking it up from their warehouse.
4. Most 10l cylinders aren't being refilled to full capacity and are running out in an hour. Keep a spare if you can
5. Your society
RWA usually keeps a cylinder for emergency. Approach them. They also send staff to refill and can take yours along. In panic we forget that huge societies have these emergency stock
6. The cylinder dealer won't give a flow meter, ask around for one or buy one. Without equipment
Flow meter, wrench, key, bottle, your cylinder won't be of use in crisis. Pharmacies have, you have to look. Other option is, send a runner to nearest hospital emergency. Their staff have.
7. This is not medical advice, just experience, concentrators aren't of use if patient's
Oxygen is very low (45-46). Also they won't work in closed AC rooms. They need ventilation source. Keep doors windows open when you use it.
8. Keep a nurse on standby from nursing agency but they won't do 12 hour shifts, only 24 hours bec they too have to quarantine.
9. Bipap machines are available at hospitals, but in some cases like we were told to get our own. Do not panic buy medical equipment, ask hospital to give in writing they can't provide. Ask around on social media if anyone's rented and can spare for a day.
10. Please, please share your resources. My concentrator was used by three patients on the same floor when my mother was switched to cylinder. People are desperate. We're in this together. But DO NOT give your oxygen mask. Ask them to attach their own mask to your machine.
11. Get your hospital to give you a letter like this (this is my mother's). You will need to show at oxygen plants and if stopped during lockdown/curfew.
12. If your doctor is advising Remsdesivir, and your hospital does not have, or if you're being advised to buy from black market, get your hospital to give you a letter like this. This will have to be submitted to cmo office.
13. Keep a patient bag packed at all times. Condition of covid patients change rapidly and you might have to transfer to hospital on short notice. Here's a list of things that aren't too much, but just enough.
- inflatable pillow
- nightie/tshirt pajamas
- essential meds
- a spare oxygen mask
- sanitiser, masks
- small flask for hot water
- a small packet of bournvita/Ensure
- small sipper cup with straw, two spoons
- spare Specs, mobile charger, mobile
- papers/documents
14. Care for domestic workers/staff: Chances are that if you employ a driver who's running around with you to pharmacy, hospital etc, please arrange for their PPE suits, gloves, masks, shield. They're getting as exposed as you.
15. If you're shifting patients from one hospital to another, and have one other person to help you, send them to do discharge papers while you get patient ready. First arrange ambulance + oxygen. Discharge takes 2+ hours and most hospitals won't hold a bed for that long
16. Can't stress this enough. Don't panic constantly and obsess over oxymeter reading. I have seen patient's family pull a doctor away from more critical cases in utter panic mode to complain that the saturation of patient is 90. NOT medical advice, but experience:
Let me stress once again, since some are reporting the thread for giving "unqualified medical advice", I've repeatedly said please consult your physician. All of this is from dealing with a critical care patient and my personal experience. Your experience will obviously vary +
Go by what your doctor says. My mother's pulse oxymeter reading varied between 82-90 and doctors advised not to panic, if yours dips, strictly go by doctor's advice. All of the other tweets are generic and general advice meant only to help, not harm.
I can't believe I'm actually having to explain this.

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More from @MasalaBai

4 May
The person you call at 2am from outside a hospital room, where a loved one is going into cardiac arrest, and break down and weep, and they're up with you at that hour, not just consoling, but working the phones for help, that person becomes your family. For me that's @janiceseq85
I've been surrounded by the love of @priyankac19 @kohliseetu @CharuPragya @tehseenp @srinivasiyc @dikshadwivedi @yogitabhayana, many political party workers and a group of friends who have been on phone, making calls, verifying, pulling their sources. I am here to pay it forward
Thank you @srijitspeaketh @bhumipednekar @paramspeak Tapsee Pannu, @RichaChadha @alifazal9 for trying to help. 🙏🏼
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3 May
For those who don't know anything about internal struggles of procuring oxygen, hope this grim thread helps. Hospitals have put onus of arranging oxygen on patients. Critical patients are on 24 hour O2 support. A 40-50 litre cylinder will last the night. But refill is a nightmare
Plants generally don't refill individual cylinders, they do for hospitals. And hospitals won't take your private cylinder or if they do there's a chance of them misplacing it. 10 litre cylinders are sold for 25-35k. Big ones for 60-80k. Big cylinder refill takes 24 hours (min)
Faridabad plants insist on local id cards. black marketeers insist you buy cylinder instead of refill. Which means if a patient is on O2, like my mother is, everyday you are being pressured to buy a new cylinder instead of refilling. Where do you store? How much can you spend?
Read 8 tweets
29 Apr
1. I feel I'm trapped in a post-apocalyptic film.The government has fallen and citizens are dependent on each other trying to stay alive by pooling and fighting for resources. Someone was quoted Rs 3 lakh for an oxygen concentrator in the black market. Medicines are short.
Most pharmacies in my area have stopped delivery or are out of stock for basic meds. Oxygen cylinders are Rs 25000-35000 for 10 litres. (I was forced to buy). Nebulizers aren't available. A couple of med stores are even out of pulse oxymeters.A lung CT for a patient whose oxygen
Was 58 in the morning and transported everywhere hooked to a cylinder, was going to take three hours. "There are 27 patients ahead of you." An oxygen cylinder lasts 5 hours barely, and is taking (without contacts) a full day in line to fill. Ie, if the plants are operating.
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Today @janiceseq85 saved my mother's life. I don't say this lightly. Her oxygen was 60. Janice worked against time, battled, coordinated, called all day to reach me an oxygen concentrator. My cousin dropped everything and picked it up. He walked in just as the cylinder ran out.
When I wrote to Janice a few hours ago, my hands were shaking, tears running down my face. Sach toh yeh hai, our lives now belong to so many people. @Royisback7, my brother who has been filling oxygen, running errands all day without eating or resting.
This hospital's Muslim doctors on fast all day and smilingly running around for hours and hours on their feet putting out one fire after another for patients who crowd around them, distraught. "Allah will protect," says one. I'm just overwhelmed.
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