Covid oxygen crisis and managing oxygen tank refills

An article published in CNN.com titled “Hospitals in the South face oxygen shortage as Covid Crisis Worsens” (August 29, 2021), describes the challenges of keeping oxygen tanks resupplied. Normally, tanks are described as starting at 90% of capacity, and suppliers would plan to refill when the tank drops to 30%, thus providing them three to five days to refill before the tank runs out. In the current crisis, tanks are being filled up to 50%, and suppliers are waiting to start planning refills when tanks get down to 20%, a one to two day supply. Why is such a lower reorder level and a lower fill-up-to optimal ? Since demand is high, will transportation costs and the need to visit hospitals more frequently create more risk ? Should more local warehousing of oxygen tanks be permitted to reduce oxygen shortage risk?

About aviyer2010

Professor
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