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SIAD technical department task force «Working to boost oxygen storage in hospitals across Italy»

07 Apr 2020

SIAD_potenziamento_impianto_ossigeno_ospedale_Bergamo“The emotion was indescribable”. When we opened the valve, we realized that each one of us had made a vital contribution at such a delicate time. In less than 12 hours, thanks to everyone's commitment and professionalism, we had built a system capable of delivering 3,000 cubic meters of oxygen an hour”.

Alberto Ferrari, Manager of the SIAD Group Technical Department, describes the record-breaking work carried out at the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital to boost the oxygen delivery system. A task force of experts from the SIAD Group, including the Osio-based Technical Department and Area Technical Support section, is working across Italy to boost cryogenic bulks and distribution systems with liquid oxygen to deliver large quantities of gaseous oxygen for the treatment of Covid-19.

“Since March 7, health care facilities and rest homes have faced an exponential growth in the use of oxygen. In some cases, the delivery of oxygen has increased ten fold. Existing systems are proving insufficient to cover requirements so need to be urgently boosted by installing new cryogenic containers alongside current supply sources, which consist of bundles, or similar cryogenic systems, the range (duration of supply) and capacity of which is inadequate.

In order to fulfill all requests received from all over Italy in a short space of time, we set up a working group of six experts from the Technical Department, flanked by the same number of engineers from the Area Technical Support section. In just over a week, we built over twenty-five systems, each one designed specifically for the relevant customer. For each unit, we define the need, identify the suitable container, check availability in our Osio Sopra stock, and carry out an inspection to establish the best place to install it, respecting safety distances. These are bulky tanks, four meters high and two in diameter, alongside which the evaporator is placed. Finally, we have to determine how to best connect them to the distribution network, without interrupting the supply of oxygen.

This is meticulous and complex work, but, thanks to everyone’s outstanding commitment, we are able to complete the work in the shortest possible time.

We have tripled the number of installations carried out per week, with requests from Lombardy to Campania, Valle d’Aosta to Veneto. In the province of Bergamo alone, we have worked at San Giovanni Bianco, Romano di Lombardia and Treviglio hospitals, at Humanitas Gavazzeni, at the Palazzolo nursing home, and at the rest homes in San Pellegrino, Vertova and Gleno in Bergamo. Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in Bergamo, which normally uses 100 cubic meters of oxygen an hour, reached peaks of over 700 cubic meters an hour. We organized urgent and delicate work. Following the initial inspections and monitoring, working with the hospital's technical department, on March 16 we went into action by installing a 30,000 liter high pressure tank and a mobile atmospheric evaporator delivering 3,000 cubic meters per hour. We found the necessary space to connect the tank to the main network between Hospital Towers 4 and 5. We then had to find a 130-meter long hose, which was quickly manufactured by our supplier Lombarda Raccordi.

We completed the work from morning to evening, in less than 12 hours. When I opened the valve, with my own hands, the emotion was indescribable. It confirmed that each one of us had made a vital contribution at this very delicate time. We all did and are doing our utmost, with great professionalism and commitment, from the people in the office to those working from home, from our warehouse operators to our installers. A motivated team with a great sense of responsibility”.

Image source: ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII Facebook page