'Extraordinary times': Medical City shows packed floors as hospital appeals for 'time' to combat COVID-19


Posted at Apr 08 2020 02:14 PM | Updated as of Apr 08 2020 02:20 PM


MANILA - The Medical City (TMC) in Ortigas has offered a rare glimpse of its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) war zone, where health workers in full protective gears were seen shuffling from patient to patient.

"These are extraordinary times," the hospital said in a video posted on its Facebook page, as it appealed to the public to find hospitals elsewhere if they needed medical help, in a bid to buy time and provide proper care for COVID-19 patients.

"Last week, one floor was dedicated to COVID-19. Today it has become two floors and two whole departments accommodating moderate to high-risk patients who can quickly deteriorate into severe ICU patients," the hospital said in the April 6 post.

The hospital acknowledged that while the country is under COVID-19 crisis, people still get into accidents, have heart attacks, among other health conditions.

"We are expanding and expanding our capacities, but until when? Right now, this is our limit at the ER," said Dr. Sally Mae Abellanes, emergency room doctor.

As of April 7, TMC has at least 34 COVID-19 positive cases admitted to the hospital, 6 in the intensive care unit. It also screened over a thousand cases of persons under monitoring or persons under investigation. The hospital has so far recorded 22 COVID-related deaths.

The hospital noted that COVID-19 patients are "resource-intensive; they require more attention, more equipment, and more hands."

Abellanes said if the situation worsens, they may be forced to choose to prioritize the patient who has the biggest chance of survival.

“In a way, we’re kind of playing god, telling you you're not gonna make it. Doctors are not meant to be playing God," she said.

Medical City said the hospital will be back on its feet faster if frontliners can focus on their current patients.

"Give us that time to at least divert patients first while we recoup, then we can serve you better," it said.

"Help us ease the pressure on our frontliners and the capacity of our hospitals until more patients can be tested and treated until they recover," TMC added.