The black fungus has turned into a concerning factor in two Telugu states as it keeps spreading like a wildfire among the COVID recovered patients. More than COVID-19 this black fungus has been shaking the lives of people as its treatment is very costly and people may lose some essential organs in the later stages of the disease.
However, a finding has been circulating for the past few days that the Oxygen Concentrators are acting as the sources of the black fungus. The oxygen concentrators are life-saving equipment for COVID-infected patients. But a part of these concentrators has become a problem for the patients that leads to the infection of black fungus.
This topic is regarding mucormycosis which is creating havoc among covid patients. It is known that Steroids, antivirals and antibiotics are increasing the problem manifold. Let us first analyze where the problem is originating. The problem is with the water being used in humidifiers of oxygen concentrators.
Distill water has very low keeping quality (<24 hrs) only). Later the staff doesn’t change the distilled water in the humidifier when the same oxygen concentrator is used for another patient. In referral hospitals, who has the time to order or make distill water in hospitals in volumes daily.
These small things become a major issue, as is happening. Leave alone distill water the staff fills the humidifier with tap water which is connected to the overhead tank. The Overhead tank also is connected to the fire system. Overhead tank contains fungus and spores which find their way to humidifiers.
None of the hospitals clean the overhead reservoir with the antifungal solution as the water has a foul smell. If we check any hospital’s reservoir, we all get astonished. Now to the point- which liquid is best to use in Oxygen concentrators? The moment doctors changed the water to normal saline the problem was solved.
Normal saline bottles are sterile, have a long shelf life, and keeping quality is good. Moreover, it helps the patient with respiratory disease -by acting as a mucolytic. The only issue with normal saline is the precipitation of salt in humidifiers, which can be cleaned easily. So, say NO to tap water and ask the staff to choose saline water to fill the humidifier of an oxygen concentrator.