PMH severely challenged by increase in suspected COVID-19 cases

PMH severely challenged by increase in suspected COVID-19 cases

Public urged to utilize the COVID-19 prevention protocols ahead of visit

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) today underscored severe challenges faced by the Princess Margaret Hospital due to the influx of suspected COVID-19 patients to the Accident & Emergency Department (A&E).

The authority moved to acknowledge key issues underpinning yesterday’s sick-out of some physicians and nurses of the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) .

In a statement released today, the PHA said others walked out of the Department and gathered in the Hospital’s meditation area, effectively withdrawing their services.

Several doctors, nurses and staff at the Princess Margaret Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department stand outside the hospital in protest of working conditions.

The authority underscored the hospital is adhering to the protocols for managing COVID-19 patients that were developed by the clinical management team of A&E.

It also noted the hospital was not built for the type of care required to manage these patients.

“Key issues cited by the staff included dissatisfaction with the protocols for managing patients under investigation for COVID-19 infection, and the delayed turnaround time for the receipt of results for those patients held within the department,” the statement read.

“They voiced concerns that A&E is unsuitable for the management of potential positive cases as it, like most of the hospital, lacks negative pressure spaces to avoid airborne transmission. They added that the risk of exposure to patients and staff is significant without the appropriate air flow system.”

The statement continued: “The Hospital remains severely challenged however due to the increasing number of suspected cases that present to A&E, which was not built for the type of care required for these patients. To avoid the overwhelming an already overflowing system, we are requiring the public to only utilize the emergency department for life- threatening conditions.”

The PHA strongly urged the public to utilize the COVID-19 prevention protocols before coming to the Hospital including:

  1. Call the COVID-19 hotline if you suspect that you or someone you know has COVID19 symptoms or has been exposed to the virus and follow the instructions that you are given.
  2. If you are experiencing a medical emergency call 919 and advise the emergency medical dispatcher that you suspect COVID-19 infection.
  3. If you are coming to the Emergency Department by private vehicle, please call the Emergency Department at 326-7014 before you arrive to allow the staff to prepare.

The statement added: “The Princess Margaret Hospital remains committed to ensuring the safety of our staff and patients during this COVID19 crisis. Flexibility will be required to meet the evolving public health challenges presented by the pandemic in our health institutions and communities.”