The Pandemic Has Created a Global Shortage of Medical Oxygen

The Covid-19 crisis has caused demand for the lifesaving treatment to skyrocket

For many people with Covid-19, a respiratory illness, treatment with supplemental medical oxygen can be lifesaving. It’s usually administered when the disease causes a person’s blood oxygen level to drop — a condition known as hypoxemia. Because so many people around the world have required this treatment, the global supply of medical oxygen has reached a critical low.

As Craig Spencer MD MPH writes in Elemental, the shortage is especially pronounced in low- and middle-income nations. Medical oxygen must be produced, stored, and transported, all of which are expensive processes that many countries cannot support. As a result of the shortage, people have died, black markets for oxygen have emerged, and price gouging has become rampant.

“Medical oxygen cannot remain a luxury available only to those in urban areas or wealthier countries,” Spencer writes. “Until the global inequity in access to oxygen is addressed, many patients won’t receive the treatment they need. Their lives depend on it.”

Read more on Elemental:

--

--

--

A blog from Medium for Covid-19 news, advice, and commentary.

Recommended from Medium

“Extreme Cold” and Frigid Wind Chills Forecast for New England

Restaurants Are At The Mercy of Tech Companies

YOU MUST READ THIS

Covid-19 is Not Your Weapon

Tackling COVID-19 at Workspaces — Precautionary Measures for the win!

Trump’s America First Policy, Biden’s Vaccines.

Covid: Vaccine or no vaccine, we have to get through this first

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Coronavirus Blog Team

Coronavirus Blog Team

A real-time resource for news, advice, and commentary brought to you by Medium.

More from Medium

Andy’s Quick Hits (191): Are you an “elite sleeper”? It’s in your genes.

Is Sugar Really That Bad for You? The Pros & Cons of Eating It

We’re Already In a Zombie Apocalypse, And It’s Making Us Fatter

Foods Proven to Keep Your Brain Young?