During the pandemic, several hospitals encountered issues with their own internal local supply of oxygen being insufficient to optimally utilize their ward space. With a surge in the number of COVID-19 patients, the hospitals needed a highly portable, high-flow supply of oxygen to boost pipeline supply or provide oxygen in areas without pipeline access.
BOC, in collaboration with GCE Healthcare and NHS Improvements, sought a solution to deliver a continuous supply of oxygen and utilize BOC’s new high-pressure (230 bar) cylinders to provide flows up to 300 l/min. The solution also had to alert users when the cylinder(s) needed to be changed out when approaching empty.
NHS Improvements identified two use cases: one in the ward operated by nurses and one as backup to the main supply operated by the estates team. For the hospital ward, a fully automatic, portable manifold system with plug-and-go use was required, whereas for the estates team, a semi-automatic system that operated in a similar way to current systems was necessary.
As a result, a highly portable oxygen supply system (the O2Connect) was designed and manufactured to meet hospital needs. The O2Connect is highly portable, has a small footprint and is easy to operate with limited training. It provides hospitals with additional resilience to their MGPS, to meet their requirement for oxygen during peak demand, while enabling them to optimally utilise their ward space and provide a continuous supply of oxygen.