COVID-dedicated dialysis centers needed -- Gordon

Richard Gordon

UNDERSCORING the pressing need for regular dialysis session of patients who have kidney ailments and are also positive for COVID-19 or classified as persons under investigation or under monitoring, Senator Richard J. Gordon, chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross, has proposed designating COVID-dedicated dialysis centers throughout the country.

Gordon has asked Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III to designate dialysis centers in the provinces as COVID-dedicated centers, because dialysis patients are being turned away by some hospitals or dialysis centers for fear of spreading the coronavirus disease.

“Dapat ang DOH ang mag-identify ng dialysis center sa bawat bayan dahil marami namang dialysis outlets. Ang problema, hindi na makapasok ‘yung iba sa ospital o tinatanggihan sila ng mga dialysis outlet. So dapat magdesignate, the DOH can do that. Kung di kayo magkasundo, dito sa lugar na ito, itong dialysis center na ito ang pupuntahan ng mga COVID-positive dialysis patients o yung mga PUI and PUM at hindi na sila pwedeng humindi dahil kailangan ang dialysis,” he said.

The PRC chairman explained that when patients who are positive for COVID-19 or who are PUIs or PUMs are refused dialysis treatments in their towns, they would have to be brought to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) by ambulance which would necessitate the ambulance driver and the paramedics on board to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

“Pag itinakbo sa NKTI ‘yan at ‘yan ay positive, syempre hindi rin tatakbo ‘yung nagmamaneho ng ambulansiya, ‘yung mga pahinante ng ambulansiya dahil for 14 days maka-quarantine sila. So dapat doon mismo sa bayan nila gawin ‘yung dialysis,” he said.

The PRC earlier set up two medical tents at the NKTI as support for its COVID-19 emergency response. One is being used as triage, where patients are interviewed and tested, the other is used for dialysis operations.