Undergoing surgery is quite challenging during these times, but while other procedures may be rescheduled to a later date, this may not be an option for urgent cases. Top hospital in the Philippines Makati Medical Center (MakatiMed) assures patients that they are always safe at the hospital and can undergo surgical operations that they may require, as well as other services with its strict safety protocols and practices in place.
With the hospital encouraging a healthy normal amid the realities of COVID-19, Joaquin Manalastas, MD, Chairperson of MakatiMed’s Department of Surgery says, “MakatiMed has set specific guidelines to ensure the safety of patients undergoing surgery, and of the hospital team involved. The pandemic is still ongoing, yes, but you should not put off an operation if it is detrimental to your health.”
MakatiMed allows performance of elective minor to major operations. Patients scheduled for operation need to be cleared for surgery by undergoing a mandatory Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test, and can proceed only if the test result is negative. If a patient tests positive, he or she will be quarantined. The hospital will also postpone an operation for any patient showing COVID-19 symptoms right before surgery, and the patient will have to be re-tested before surgery pushes through.
However, if a patient tested positive but urgently needs the surgery, there are designated operating rooms (ORs) and surgery facilities with negative pressure, which are fully disinfected and sterilized after every use. Non-COVID-19 patients undergo operation in the regular ORs. Each room is still sterilized and fully decontaminated at the end of the day. Aside from the disinfection and sterilization per procedure, MakatiMed’s healthcare workers also undergo regular test for COVID-19 for the mutual safety of patients and staff.
MakatiMed’s protocols have also set specific guidelines on administering anesthesia, usage of quality personal protective equipment (PPE), routes of transferring patients, and other details and protocols, which are communicated to patients prior to surgery.
“COVID-19 should not keep you from undergoing elective or life-saving procedures, particularly when hospitals like MakatiMed are doing everything they can to put the safety of their patients and staff first and foremost. After all, it is especially at this time that you need to be your healthiest. Let’s aim to adopt a healthy normal,” says Dr. Manalastas.