CRMC resources dwindling due to COVID

Published June 10, 2021, 2:24 PM

by Zea Capistrano

COTABATO Regional and Medical Center (Photo courtesy of Dr. John Maligad)
DAVAO CITY – The Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (CRMC) in Cotabato City has expressed alarm over dwindling resources due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.

In a public advisory Tuesday, the CRMC said its COVID-19 isolation wards are now “beyond full capacity.” “We are now understaffed, high flow oxygen machines and mechanical ventilators are also depleted,” it said in a statement. “We appeal to the people of Cotabato City, BARMM, and nearby provinces and municipalities to help us stop the spread of COVID-19,” the medical facility added.

The CRMC caters to patients from Region 12 (Socsargen or the South Cotabato, Sarangani, and General Santos City area) and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

In a phone interview Wednesday, June 9, Dr. John Maligad, chairman of the safety committee and head of the Public Health CRMC, said that the hospital has 190 beds capacity allotted for COVID-19 patients.

“Ngayon, ang functional bed capacity namin is 178 lang during that time, noong Friday last week, hindi na-discharge ‘yung pasyente kasi weekend and then pumasok siya hanggang Monday, umabot siya hanggang 181 (Our functional bed capacity that time was at 178 only and on Friday last week the patient was not discharged because it was weekend and until Monday, the bed occupied reached to 181).” But after a day, Maligad said the number went down to 165. But just the same, Maligad said they are concerned by the high number of COVID-19 patients admitted in the medical center.

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, June 9, 158 persons have been admitted for COVID-19 related cases. Maligad added that the hospital also has 88 non-COVID patients for a total of 246.

“Out of the 158, ang pinakacritical namin umabot kami sa 34 critical COVID patients. Ito ‘yung nakahigh-flow at naka-mechanical ventilators (Out of the 158 patients with COVID-19 related cases, we had 34 critical. They are those in highflow and mechanical ventilators),” he added.

Maligad explained that a COVID-19 critical patient particularly the “high flow COVID patients,” would consume a tank of oxygen in just “one hour and 30 minutes,” while a patient on mechanical ventilators would consume a tank of oxygen in about “two hours and 20 minutes.” “Ang remaining oxygen tanks na lang namin ngayon nasa TB isolation is nasa 100 tanks na lang with order namin coming from Gensan is nasa 65, pero coming pa ‘yun (Our remaining oxygen tanks in TB isolation is 100 tanks. We ordered 65 tanks from General Santos City but we are still waiting for it),” he added.

Maligad said they have put up contingency plans, including the procurement of oxygen from nearby suppliers. He added that based on their meeting last week, there was a discussion on the possible transfer of moderate cases to other nearby government hospitals to enable the CRMC to focus on severe and critically ill patients.