Lanao’s Covid-referral hospital reaches maximum capacity

By : Bobby Lagsa Mindanao Today/11:09:14am 09/13/2021


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte’s referral hospital for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases, has reached its full capacity as the infection surges, as it finds itself in dire need of oxygen supply for its patients.

Dr. Alinader Minalang, Lanao del Sur provincial health officer and deputy chairman of the provincial inter-agency task force, said that the hospital is now operating way beyond its capacity even as it expands to 400 beds, half of which are dedicated to Covid-19 patients.

APMC has a bed capacity of only 200.

“APMC is the only hospital in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur capable of managing Covid-19 cases is now running out of oxygen supply. This is our biggest challenge in this new surge,” Minalang said.

Patients from Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Iligan City, even Maguindanao, and Cotabato provinces are admitted to APMC.

“APMC’s occupancy rate for Covid is more than 100 percent capacity. Our ward bed is now at 113 percent, our ICU beds 130 percent,” Minalang said.

In a statement issued recently, Dr. Shalimar Rakiin, APMC chief of hospital, said the facility has reached maximum capacity.

“The Covid-19 wards and intensive care unit of our hospital has reached full capacity following the ongoing surge of Covid-19 cases,” Rakiin said.

Rakiin requested the public to immediately seek medical care at the nearest Rural Health Units or other medical facilities.

Oxygen supply problem

As the Covid-19 surges on, more infected are being hospitalized, and this causes problems for the hospital’s oxygen requirement.

“We regret to notify the public that we are experiencing a shortage of medical oxygen supply since our suppliers can no longer provide our needed oxygen requirement,” Rakiin said.

“Our oxygen requirement skyrocketed. Before, APMC’s tank requirement is at 200-300 tanks per day, now it is at almost 500 tanks per day,” Minalang said.

Minalang feared that with the detection of the Delta variant in the province, more infected will be admitted, swamping the hospital already on its knees.

“Our available tank here is 900 to 1,000. That’s our available supply, so within 2 days, we would have consumed that,” Minalang added.

Minalang laments that oxygen suppliers from Iligan and Cagayan de Oro cities have difficulty too with their stocks of refilled tanks.

“The refilling process is slow, and our suppliers in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, their refilled tanks are also depleted, because they are not only supplying APMC but other hospitals in region 10,” Minalang added.

Minalang added that there is a scramble of who gets first the available refilled tanks. “Our oxygen tanks are with the suppliers but they are still refilling it,” Minalang added.

Innar Jeffrey Quiblat, a marketing executive of Cagayan de Oro Gas Corporation, said that a standard medical grade tank would take about 30 minutes to fill at 1800 pounds per square inch.

He added that there is a shortage of oxygen tanks as the demand for oxygen rises.

“Now, many LGUs are buying and stocking their own oxygen supplies,” Quiblat said.

Minalang said that they are trying to save whatever oxygen tanks are left.

“We are managing our oxygen supply well so we can extend its use for the patients,” Minalang said.

Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Jr. of Lanao del Sur said that the provincial IATF has been discussing solutions to address the shortage of medical oxygen and oxygen tanks which is happening not only in Lanao del Sur but in the whole country.

“We have the funds to purchase these but the problem now is the limited supply. We are currently discussing sourcing out medical oxygen from other areas with minimal cases of Covid-19 as recommended by Amai Pakpak Medical Center Chief, Dr. Shalimar Sani-Rakiin,” Adiong said.

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