By Hanah Tabios
One of the nine district hospitals in the city of Calamba operated by the Provincial Government of Laguna (PGL) has resorted to using half of a 6-liter plastic water container as improvised oxygen hoods for some ailing infants in the pediatric ward due to lack of supplies.
Laguna Governor Ramil Hernandez personally confirmed through a text message on Monday that the patients were indeed using the improvised medical equipment after a netizen’s post went viral on social media.
“Disposable ‘yong gamit na kailangan sa ganun. It so happen na naubusan ng stock dahil sa di inaasahang dami ng pasyente,” he said.
Based on the provincial government’s website, Dr. Jose P. Rizal Memorial Provincial District Hospital only has a 100-bed capacity. But due to the sudden increase in the number of patients, medical supplies have become insufficient. One of the causes was the spike in number dengue cases.
Hernandez explained that the parents were actually given three options before their children’s confinement at the said hospital.
“First, lagyan directly sa nose ang baby ng oxygen pero irritated ang bata. Second, tanggihan na lang pasyente at ipalipat sa ibang hospital. Third, gamitan ng improvised na clinically accepted with the consent ng parents,” he added while citing that the parents chose the last choice.
Marjorie Canaco, the mother of a 17-day-old baby who is suffering from a multiple congenital anomaly, told the Manila Bulletin that she gave her consent to use the improvised oxygen hood to her daughter because she could not afford to transfer her baby to a bigger hospital in Manila.
“Sa kagustuhan ko po na humaba pa ang buhay ng anak ko, di na po ako nagtanong. Akala ko ‘yon po talaga ang ginagamit sa baby pero po sa awa ng Diyos lumalaban po si baby kahit mlubha ang sakit niya,” she said.
Hernandez said he has already called for a meeting to discuss the matter following the criticisms received on social media.
“Now, I am looking for a solution para di na maulit. Yan ang important now,” the Laguna governor said.
The Manila Bulletin consulted a medical doctor to check if the improvised oxygen hoods were indeed clinically accepted for safe use.
“Hindi talaga siya allowed since hindi natin alam ang sterility. Pero minsan kasi sa government [hospital] nangyayari since no choice, wala [supplies],” Dr. Marc Gregory Sorra, a doctor-to-the-barrio, said.
It can be recalled that last year, an infant’s family sought for a probe after the newborn who was treated with the same improvised oxygen hood died in a district hospital in Pampanga due to a lack of medical equipment.