St. Luke’s, Makati Med COVID-19 facilities already at full capacity

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 13) — St. Luke’s Medical Center and Makati Medical Center said their COVID-19 facilities have reached full capacity and can no longer accept critically ill coronavirus patients.

In a public advisory, St. Luke’s disclosed that as of Monday, both its hospitals in Quezon City and Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City “have reached full capacity of allocated COVID-19 intensive care unit beds.”

It encouraged the public to bring suspected virus-hit patients to alternative hospitals to make sure they will be given needed medical attention.

St. Luke’s hospital president and CEO Dr. Art Dela Peña told CNN Philippines’ News.PH that while they have already allocated more ICU beds for COVID-19 patients, it was not enough to keep up with the recent rise in the number of patients seeking medical attention.

“Sa Global City, 'yung aming regular ICU beds is 32 — 18 assigned for COVID-19 and 14 for non-COVID-19,” Dela Peña said Monday. “And before I left the hospital this afternoon, 16 na ‘yung occupied na beds for COVID-19, pero meron pa kaming limang pasyente sa emergency room na nangangailangan ng ICU admission."

[Translation: At the Global City, we have 32 regular ICU beds — 18 assigned for COVID-19 and 14 for non-COVID-19. And before I left the hospital this afternoon, 16 beds for COVID-19 patients were already occupied, but we still have five patients in the emergency room that need ICU admission.”

The hospital, however, said its two facilities can still accommodate admissions and treatment of non-COVID-19 patients, as well as outpatient procedures.

Meanwhile, Makati Medical Center said that it has reached full capacity after a review of its bed utilization and manpower.

“The COVID-19 zones of MMC, both the regular wards and the critical care units, and especially the emergency room, are now full,” the hospital said in a statement.

The National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) in Quezon City also issued an advisory requesting the public to refer their critically ill, probable, or suspected COVID-19 patients to other health care facilities for immediate care.

The NKTI said it is already in the “danger zone,” which means that more than 70 percent of its COVID-19 dedicated beds and ventilators are already being used.

“Around last week, we are already at around 89 percent. And now, it’s even more than that because our capacity actually has been filled up,” NKTI executive director Dr. Rose Marie Rosete-Liquete told CNN Philippines.

She said around 1.5% of the hospital personnel have been infected with the disease, adding that more than 40 of the NKTI healthcare workers are no longer reporting to work, and that they may have to close another ward due to the lack of nurses.

The NKTI said its emergency room staff will continue to "acutely manage only renal emergency cases and post kidney transplant patients." Non-COVID-19 and non-pneumonia patients may be seen at the outpatient services and be admitted accordingly, it added.

Other Metro Manila hospitals also reported 100 percent utilization rate of their COVID-19 dedicated beds, but this does not mean there is shortage of beds because some can still expand their facilities, the Health department said.

To date, the country's confirmed cases reached 57,006 with the addition of 836 new cases on Monday, while recoveries rose to 20,371, and death toll to 1,599.