DOH-7 to hospitals: Stop swabbing the dead

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo - CDN Digital | June 17,2020 - 10:21 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Taking swab samples from dead patients is not part of the protocol in testing for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This was the statement of Dr. Jaime Bernadas, regional director of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7), as he disclosed that there are “accommodations” being practiced in medical facilities wherein patients who do not supposedly fit in the testing qualifications–including the dead–are being swabbed upon requests of families and handling physicians.

Bernadas, who attended the meeting between Cebu provincial officials and town mayors on Wednesday afternoon, June 17, 2020, said he has already instructed the chiefs of hospitals to no longer tolerate accommodations outside the protocol on who should be tested for COVID-19.

“Ang atong problema are some accommodations nga akong giingon we should not and never do anymore. Kana bitawng patay na unya gi-swab pa? That is not in our protocol to swab dead persons,” Bernadas said.

(Our problems are some of these accommodations that for me, we should not and never do anymore. Those cases where a dead person is swabbed? That is not in our protocol to swab dead persons.)

Crazy demand

In Talisay City, Mayor Gerald Anthony Gullas said four of the recent COVID-19 cases in the city are patients who were declared dead on arrival in the Talisay District Hospital, swabbed, and eventually tested positive for the viral infection.

These four persons, who were already dead when swabbed, contributed to Talisay City’s tally of COVID-19 cases and death toll, which is now at 126 and 19, respectively.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, who presided the meeting, said the swabbing of the dead “skews the data and creates unnecessary alarm.”

Aside from swabbing DOA patients, Bernadas also disclosed that there is a “crazy demand” among doctors for all their patients to be tested for COVID-19.

“I think this is a balancing act between the demand of our doctors who even demand that all the patients that they are handling should be tested. That is a crazy demand,” Bernadas said.

Garcia also hit on the alleged practice of testing the patients and charging them with at least P1,800 for each set of personal protective equipment (PPE) used while attending to them. /bmjo

 

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TAGS: dead patients positive for COVID-19, DOH-7, stop swabbing the dead, swab test for COVID-19, swabbing the dead

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