SON warns dealers under-dispensing oxygen, medical gases
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has issued an alert to the public on recent complaints received on under-dispensing of oxygen and other medical gases by plant owners in some parts of the country.
SON Director General, Farouk Salim, in a statement, described Oxygen as a critical product in the treatment of respiratory ailments in emergency situations, particularly in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, stressing that its use by certified medical personnel is strictly in recommended volumes and dosages for effectiveness in treatment.
According to the SON Chief Executive, the inadequacy in volume and dosage of oxygen and other medical gases has been reported to have consequences on the treatment of patients in the country resulting in loss of lives in some cases.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had warned that the rising second wave of the pandemic in Lagos has seen the demand for oxygen rise five times from 70 six-litre cylinders per day to 350 six-litre cylinders at the Yaba Mainland Hospital alone.
The Governor noted that the State’s oxygen requirement for the management of COVID-19 patients has risen from 420 litres to 2,100 litres daily between December and mid-January.
Insisting that the increase amounted to a 500 per cent rise, he expressed fear that going by current trend, it could snowball to 4,500 litres daily before the month ends.
Speaking during an update on COVID-19 management in Lagos State, he said the increase in positive cases necessitated the provision of more concentrated oxygen for the moderate to severe cases at isolation centres.
Salim therefore warned gas plants across the country to ensure accurate volume in the sale of oxygen and other medical gases to Customers as a matter of responsibility.
He also admonished health institutions and practitioners to carefully and regularly check the pressure of oxygen and other medical gas cylinders for strict compliance with labelled specifications.
He disclosed that SON offices across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been directed to ensure close monitoring and strict compliance with standards of volume in the sale of oxygen and other medical gases to customers by gas plants.
The SON Director-General warned that any gas plant or dealer found to be under-dispensing oxygen or other medical gases would be made to face the full weight of the law as enshrined in the SON Act No. 14 of 2015.
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