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Current Affairs

Industrial oxygen and black fungus

Date: 25 May 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Experts are trying to find linkage between the black fungus epidemic and usage of industrial oxygen for treatment.

 

Background

Black fungus has been a major post-Covid-19 symptom that has rattled the already burdened medical infrastructure in the country.

 

Details

  • Till now, major reasons cited for the infection is uncontrolled increase in sugar levels, excessive usage of steroids and low immunity.

  • Scientists studying the infection feel that there may be other reasons that may have catapulted the cases beyond control. This is quality of Oxygen to hospitals.

  • The cases of black fungus were reported in those patients who were in post-recovery mode after being on steroids and Oxygen during their treatment.

  • Large amounts of industrial Oxygen were being used to address shortages in medical oxygen. The shortage also forced replacement of medical oxygen containers by industrial ones.

 

Role of industrial oxygen

  • Industrial oxygen is more pure than medical oxygen but the condition of industrial containers are not up to the sterility mark.

  • The containers are used roughly that cause micro leaks in the fluids. They are also far away from being hygienic. There is a fear of contamination through these cylinders if not in proper condition.

  • For using industrial cylinders for medical use requires cleaning and upgradation apart from replacing valves and plugging leaks.

 

Contamination areas

  • The black fungus is usually found in soil, old materials and decaying organic matter. Cylinders with contaminated waters can be lethal.

  • Contaminated water may mix with oxygen and later given to patients, who already have their anti-body response weak and on steroids.