By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental provincial government-run hospitals are now bracing for an increase in medical emergencies during the holidays.
Dr. Mary Ann Maestral, chief of the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City, said they are particularly concerned over illnesses that could easily spread due to social gatherings.
Maestral added that so far they have noticed a drop in firecracker-related injuries in some district hospitals compared to the same period last year.
However, she noted an increase in cases of cardiovascular-related illnesses, such as hypertension, heart attack and stroke.
She said that the number of patients being confined to intensive care units is also increasing.
Meanwhile, Maestral reminded Negrenses, particularly senior citizens, who suffer from asthma to avoid inhaling smoke from firecrackers as it may cause an asthma attack.
The hospital chief is also concerned over the number of road accidents and stabbing incidents in the next few days.
On Thursday, December 21, district hospitals in Negros Occidental were placed on “code white” status ahead of Christmas and New Year’s Day celebrations.
Under code white, medical personnel are on an “on-call status for immediate mobilization” to ensure the readiness of hospitals to respond to emergencies, such as injuries or poisoning due to firecrackers.
Medical supplies are now in place and hospital personnel are ready for emergencies, she added.
District hospitals are also prepared for the post-New Year activities./DGB, WDJ