Lung Center to run out of PPE suits Monday amid COVID-19 threat

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 23 2020 12:18 PM | Updated as of Mar 23 2020 09:48 PM

MANILA (UPDATED) — The Lung Center of the Philippines on Monday asked for donations of PPE suits and isolation gowns after the government assigned it as among the country’s dedicated COVID-19 hospitals.

“We only have 98 (suits left). We are seeing at the end of the day we will have nothing,” said Dr. Antonio Ramos, head of the hospital’s administrative services division, during a DZMM interview.

PPE suits or personal protection equipment suits are full-body suits used by medical personnel when treating patients with infectious diseases. Ramos said only the face, hands and feet are exposed when they wear the suits. 

Matched with goggles, N95 masks and gloves, “That makes us relatively safe,” the hospital official said.

Ramos explained that the problem now is that distributors authorized to sell to the government had run out of PPEs.

He said the hospital uses about 80 to 100 suits a day as it handles 40 patients. However, the hospital is also planning to expand services with the influx of COVID-19 patients.

He said an initial supply of 1,000 suits would keep them safe.

“Kahit initially 1,000 lang kasi alam namin may iba pang ospital na nangangailangan (We can make do with 1,000 initially because we know there are other hospitals that need it),” he said. 

Ramos said they are now trying to set up a private fund so they can buy from private suppliers even if the prices have gone up to P3,000 per suit from just P500 before the COVID-19 became a pandemic.

“We do not have any choice because we are talking about the lives of our doctors,” he said.

“A lot of doctors have already been admitted (to hospitals). Some have already died,” Ramos added.

He said they do not even have enough time to grieve for colleagues as some of their personnel have started to sleep in the hospital to ensure their service to the patients.

Ramos explained that a sick doctor has a big impact, especially since each one of them takes care of several patients. He thanked the Department of Health for sending them additional nurses, who they are training right now. He said they will issue a call if they will need additional volunteers.

“We would like to thank the DOH for all the support they are giving us. We understand na hirap din sila,” he said.

Besides PPE suits, he said the Lung Center of the Philippines also needs isolation gowns. For the suits, he said Filipino doctors would fit in size medium to large suits. 

Ramos said those who can deliver the suits to the hospital can simply drop them off at their donation desk by the entrance.

Donors can also contact him via his number 0917 582 4847.

Later in the day, Ramos told ABS-CBN News that DOH will be sending 200 PPE suits on Monday night. A total of 50 PPE suits will also be coming from private donors. This will cover the hospital’s needs for the next few days.