COVID-19 beds, emergency rooms at Lung Center beyond full capacity
This undated photo shows the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City.
Lung Center of the Philippines

COVID-19 beds, emergency rooms at Lung Center beyond full capacity

(Philstar.com) - April 4, 2021 - 11:35am

MANILA, Philippines — The Lung Center of the Philippines has reached full capacity for its COVID-19 wards with its emergency rooms also at 200-percent full, an official of the facility said Sunday. 

A hospital spokesperson said over radio DZBB that this has been the situation there for at least weeks now. It has led the lung center to stop accepting walk-ins and uncoordinated transfer of COVID-19 patients from other facilities.

"We are not only full but more than full because the hospital is already occupied too," said Dr. Norberto Francisco, adding that they have already increased beds, stretchers and oxygen supply.

Three emergency rooms, elective surgery suspended 

Francisco said with the arrival of more severe and critical patients, the facility is now operating three emergency rooms: one for non-COVID patients and two for those infected.

As a result, consultations have also been put to a halt along with elective surgeries and admission to have more health workers tend to ER patients. Even nurses in operating rooms are also being pulled out to cater to those infected, he added.

"'Yung unang COVID-19 emergency room na aming itinalaga laging puno so napilitan kami na 'yung buong outpatient building namin i-covert sa COVID-19 ER," Francisco said.

(Our first emergency room is always full so we were forced to convert our entire outpatient building as another ER.)

The picture at the Lung Center is not far from other hospitals in Metro Manila, which in recent weeks also reported full capacity for those infected.

A tracker by the Department of Health showed that bed occupancy in the capital region was at 67.6% in 159 facilities by April 2. This means 6,286 beds are occupied out of the 9,294 in Metro Manila.

And with record-high increases in the last two days, it is likely that the figures that have yet to be updated have risen.

Francisco said those who want to be admitted to the Lung Center should first seek the help of their local governments. 

He said it local government units will determine if patients should be brought to isolation facilities, treatment centers or could stay at home for their quarantine.

"Right now, there all are only referrals between hospitals," he added. "We cannot allow uncoordinated referrals or consults because we have nowhere to put patients who arrive in ambulances unexpectedly."

Philippine coronavirus cases are at 784,043 as of April 4. Yesterday's 12,576 additional infections are the highest to date, with overall active cases reaching 165,715 or making up 21.1% of the total number. 

Such developments led the government to extend the hard lockdown in Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan for another week, with the surge in infections visibly yet to be controlled. — Christian Deiparine

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