SERDANG: In between buildings at the Malaysian Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) Covid-19 Quarantine and Low-Risk Treatment Centre (PKRC) Integrated 2.0 area, sits a negative pressure air bubble tent with its equipment akin to a hospital intensive care unit (ICU).
Equipped with four beds, six chairs and equipment for resuscitation as in the ICU, the MAEPS Acute Resuscitation And Isolation Area (Maria) acts as a temporary ICU.
It is capable of accommodating 10 critical Covid-19 category four patients at any one time who need to be stabilised and require oxygen before being sent to Hospital Sungai Buloh for further treatment.
MAEPS PKRC clinical deputy director Dr Marzilawati Abd Rahman said if the conditions of category one patients without symptoms, category two with mild symptoms and category three patients with pneumonia at the centre deteriorate, they would be admitted to Maria within six hours before being sent to Hospital Sungai Buloh.
“But the cases at the moment are very high, so there are also cases which we are forced to hold up to 12 hours before sending them to Sungai Buloh due to bed constraints at the hospital, ” she said.
Dr Marzilawati said Maria, which was activated in January, was being manned by 40 to 45 personnel daily comprising specialist doctors, medical officers, assistant medical officers and nurses who work in two shifts.
She also said at the onset of its establishment, the number of category four patients treated at Maria was less than 10 people.
But lately, she said, following the hike in positive cases in the country, it received between 50 and 60 patients a day.
“It is estimated that 10% of category three patients would deteriorate or change to category four whereby they require oxygen tanks. Cases that require oxygen therapy are treated at Maria and then the patients are sent to Hospital Sungai Buloh.
“It is better for such cases to be provided with continuous oxygen in the hospital which can also treat patients more efficiently and effectively, ” she said.
Other than stabilising the patients with breathing problems, Dr Marzilawati said Maria could also treat patients with other ailments, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart problems.
“Patients may have other health issues, such as diabetes which may not be under control upon admission to the MAEPS PKRC.
“So, we treat them first for several hours (at Maria) and admit them to the MAEPS PKRC after they have improved.
“There are also cases of patients who suddenly develop chest pains requiring them to be treated at the hospital, ’’ she said.
Dr Marzilawati said 80% of patients who were treated at Maria were those requiring oxygen or category four while the rest were in due to medical illnesses.
She said to accommodate the increase in patients taken to Maria, the temporary treatment centre was connected to Hall B, which acts as a support unit to Maria with a capacity of 60 beds.
As of May 26, MAEPS PKRC had a capacity of 5,648 beds with over 75% occupied by patients who were mostly from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. — Bernama