THE Department of Health (DOH) 7 said inappropriate use of medical grade oxygen could either lead to oxygen toxicity or lung damage.
DOH 7 Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas, in an advisory issued on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, said medical grade oxygen is an important element in the management of severe and critical coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases and its related complications.
However, its use as a therapeutic modality must only be limited in hospital settings where healthcare workers can closely monitor patients, he said.
Improper use of oxygen, Bernadas said, could cause oxygen toxicity or damage to the lungs because of too much or the unregulated amount of oxygen, leading to lung tissue trauma.
“For an individual whose lungs are already inflamed due to the Sars-CoV-2 virus infection, unsupervised oxygen therapy can lead to more damage and even death,” he said.
For this reason, the DOH 7 “strongly” advised the public not to purchase medical grade oxygen for home use.
Before the DOH 7 released its advisory, there was a panic buying of oxygen tanks at a pharmacy across Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City last Monday morning, Aug. 2. This happened a day after images of patients waiting in their cars and outside Chong Hua Hospital were circulated in social media.
Bernadas said suspected symptomatic individuals must seek immediate medical attention for appropriate treatment.