MSJMC medical director says the hospital is under more pressure

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By Theresa Goodwin

[email protected]

A 65-year-old male resident became the 8th person in the country to die as a result of the coronavirus.

A statement from the Mount St John’s Medical Centre yesterday said the elderly man was admitted to the hospital on January 23rd in severe respiratory distress and his medical condition worsened over time.

“His illness was complicated by several comorbidities. His health continued to deteriorate and he was placed on a ventilator 7 (seven) days post admission. Despite our medical team’s best efforts to save him, the patient died of complications of Covid-19 on February 8, 2021,” the statement said

Medical Director, Dr Albert Duncan, was quoted in the release as saying, “Another family and community are mourning the death of a loved one – and we too are saddened and offer our deepest sympathy. Our hospital is doing everything we can to stay ahead of the coronavirus surge in the community which inevitably leads to more hospitalised Covid-19 patients.”

The medical director also noted that the hospital is under more pressure from Covid-19 than any other time since the start of the pandemic.

He shared similar concerns during a state media interview Monday night when he warned that although the hospital is equipped to provide care for about 50 patients at a time, it would put a major strain on the healthcare system

He stated then, that there is also a shortage of manpower as some healthcare workers are currently ill.

According to the medical director, about 40 people are currently receiving care between the Infectious Disease Centre at the old Holberton Hospital compound and in separate departments at the hospital.

“We have a total of 16 people in the Infectious Disease Centre (IDC), 5 in the Intensive Care Unit, 14 people in the recently established Covid ward and 4 in the Emergency Room. This total incudes people whose positive results were confirmed using the PCR test and some with the Rapid Antigen test. Thirty-three of those who are hospitalised between the IDC and the hospital have confirmed their test results, and 7 are awaiting confirmation,” Duncan said.

As it relates to the status of these patients, the hospital official explained that, “Those in the ICU are seriously ill, three out of 4 people in the ICU are on respiratory [assistance], while one person is receiving oxygen therapy without the use of a respirator, the other folks are between moderate to mild.

“Most of the patients, 11 out of 16 have moderate to mild symptoms, the other 5 are moderate. As it relates to the hospital, some of the results are just coming out of the lab, that unit has about 18 people, three are considered moderate and the rest mild.”

Dr Duncan said the hospital has suspended all elective surgeries and those beds are now reserved for non-Covid-19 patients.

He remains hopeful that residents will continue to, “Remain vigilant, follow the protocols for mask wearing, physical distancing and other preventive behaviors to keep the pandemic at bay,” as an influx of patients will put a significant strain on the healthcare system.

The country has recorded 316 confirmed cases of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.  Of that total, 119 cases remain active, 190 are non-imported, and 126 are imported.

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