By Dale Q. De Vera
(March 27, 2020) – With the growing number of patients queuing up at the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) for COVID-19 treatment and consultations, hospital officials found an efficient way to lessen patient crowding—by going online.
A group of graduates and faculty members of the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health pooled their talents and created the Lung Center COVID Ask Force—an online social media portal where one can ask anything about the dreaded disease.
Some 200 doctors have volunteered for the project, which aims to lessen the need for hospital trips just for
COVID-19-related consultations and to minimize the risk of infections.
Those interested to avail of the free service may simply log on to Facebook and visit COVID AskForce’s page. Free
consultations are available from Mondays to Saturdays, from 8am to 11am and 7pm to 9pm, with cutoffs set at 10am and 9pm.
But even with its online effort, the hospital still faces enormous challenges related to the fight against the
As one of three designated referral centers for COVID-19, it is in dire need of medical equipment essential for the protection of its frontliners.
Last Monday, a hospital official said they are running low on personal protective equipment, with only less than a
hundred left in stock.
“You could imagine, ang sinusuot na lang ng staff ay actually surgical gowns na papatungan lang sometimes kung wala talaga yung proper equipment kasi nga shortage of supply, Nagpapatong na lang ng trash bag na ginupit para dagdag na proteksyon,” said Dr. Edmund VillaromaN, president of the Physician Association of the tertiary specialty hospital.
Villaroman said they need the PPEs now more than ever, as they are set to open two new wards and doubling COVID-19 dedicated beds to 80 to accommodate the growing number of patients.
Despite the challenges, he said they will remain true to their oath.
“Nakakapagod man, exhausted man, ito ay dahil iyong passion sa pagtulong sa may sakit,” Villaroman said. “Ang talagang reason kaya nandyan kami, o nandyan ang mga staff namin ay handa kaming tumulong sa mga may sakit at makatulong na matigil na itong outbreak.”
At present, the hospital has at least three medical personnel who have tested positive for the virus while a good number of them are in self-quarantine. The rest are staying in the hospital for extended duty.
Parts of the hospital had already been converted to sleeping quarters for most of the staff, fearful of endangering the lives of their loved ones by inadvertently bringing the virus home.
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