As part of its efforts to continue offering services to the public during the COVID-19 emergency, the Wilma N. Vázquez in Vega Baja Hospital has invested some $500,000 to establish the COVID SE Unit, separate from the institution’s emergency room, hospital officials said.
Hospital Board Chairman José Orlando Pabón, said “the goal of this strategy is that our patients have the peace of mind that we’re going to continue to properly manage all their health conditions. That’s why we have created the COVID Unit, separate from our regular emergency room.”
Patients who go to the hospital will go through an initial screening process to identify if it is a potential or suspected case of COVID-19 before entering the emergency room.
“If it’s not a suspicious case of COVID-19, they will go to the regular emergency room to receive the treatment required for their condition,” he said.
Meanwhile, a patient identified with suspected coronavirus COVID-19 will be transferred to the COVID Unit to continue with the evaluation required by the established protocol.
Once there, medical staff will determine if the patient moves through the process and if they go on to to one of the treatment areas to get a medical evaluation for a final decision.
In the event that the patient tests positive and does not present respiratory problems, they are discharged with instructions to remain in isolation for 14 days. The hospital will provide specialized monitoring via telephone on days three, seven and 14, to find out how they are doing.
The idea is to provide recommendations, including — if necessary — returning to the COVID Unit for reevaluation, he said.
But if on the other hand, it is determined that the patient should be hospitalized, they will be referred to the COVID Isolation Unit, which has 16 rooms equipped for this purpose. If the patient has difficulty breathing they will be taken to the Intensive Care Unit, which has six rooms with negative pressure.
So far, the hospital has carried out 20 tests on suspicious patients, of which 16 have been negative, one positive and three are pending results. The patient whose test was positive is hospitalized in stable condition.