Dengue patients flock hospital

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Monday, August 22, 2011

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Two or three dengue virus-infected children are sharing a single bed in a pediatric ward – this is the current scenario at the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital (JBLMRH).

Dr. Religaya Rivera, chief of the Pediatrics Department of the JBLMRH, said their ward can only accommodate 50 patients.

JBLMRH Chief Venancio Banzon said they had to get hospital beds from other buildings to accommodate the growing number of dengue patients from Pampanga alone.


Based on their latest census, there are about 108 dengue patients at the regional hospital whose ages range from six months old to 13 years old.

Patients are from towns of Mabalacat, San Simon, Apalit, Mexico, Candaba, Minalin and from Angeles City.

Dengue is an infectious tropical disease carried by Aedes mosquitoes.

"So far, we have more than 200 patients at the pedia ward. About 108 of these patients have dengue, while others have pneumonia, meningitis, seizures, convulsion and other illnesses," Rivera said.

"We're really overcrowded and this is the first time this has happened," Rivera added.

Some young patients are fortunate enough to share their bed with other dengue victims inside the pedia ward, while others stay at the floor's hallway.

In 2010, the JBLMRH pedia ward had a different look. "We hardly had dengue patients last year. In one year, we only admitted about 180 patients. But now, we get the same number of patients in weeks," Rivera said.

She said they get to admit 22 to 27 patients a day. About 50 percent of the dengue patients have moderate to severe infection.

Dr. Venancio, chief of the JBLMRH, said he is coordinating with neighboring district hospitals to accommodate the ballooning number of dengue patients.

Venancio said they are also looking at the possibility of using other buildings within the JBLMRH to accommodate other dengue patients.

The Department of Health in Central Luzon has not yet declared a dengue outbreak in the region. (Charlene Cayabyab)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 23, 2011.

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