KOTA KINABALU, Sept 3 — Sabah health director Dr Rose Nani Mudin today said that hospitals in the state have been doing their best to provide treatment and respiratory aids to all Covid 19 patients who required them.
She said that in a certain situation hospital staff had to assess the condition of the patients and give priority to patients with a higher recovery rate.
“In a crisis, we had to review the patients and see who has a better rate of recovery but even then all patients who need oxygen treatment will be given,” she said adding that hospital staff was acting in accordance to the Malaysian Intensive Care Unit management protocol.
“For patients who have lung failure, or suffering from a chronic illness that will not benefit even with the help of ventilators, the doctors will instead discuss with the patient and the family on what kind of limited treatments are available such as support and palliative care,” she said.
Dr Rose was commenting on media reports that hospitals are facing an acute shortage of ventilators and that doctors were told to prioritise younger patients who had a better survival rate.
Dr Rose said that normally all patients had to go through criteria checks to determine if their illness requires ventilators.
Meanwhile, on the shortage of ICU beds, she said that the department was monitoring the situation and would repurpose existing beds and wards so that emergency patients can receive necessary treatment outside the ICU ward.
“Patients in Stage 4 and 5 who cannot be admitted into the ICU ward or repurposed areas will be sent to the acute cubicle, where they will be given care by a peripheral anesthesia team.
As for districts without an ICU ward, she said that the authorities will set up breathing aids or ventilators in 13 district hospitals.
On the backlog of people waiting for the Emergency and Trauma Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (HQE) in Kota Kinabalu, Dr Rose said that mitigation action was to transfer non-Covid-19 patients out and add more beds in the high dependency wards and ICU.
“As of September 2, HQE has 572 coronary beds, including 60 ICU beds, 48 acute beds, and 464 additional beds. The hospital will gradually increase the number of beds to 802, and will also mobilise medical staff in or outside Sabah to provide support,” she said.
She also said that there has been a downtrend of ICU admittance recently as Covid 19 cases in the state dip from its 3,000 daily cases last week.