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Myongji Hospital adds 5th-stage response to COVID-19
  • By Shim Hyun-tai
  • Published 2020.03.05 17:44
  • Updated 2020.03.05 17:44
  • comments 0

Myongji Hospital said it has raised the hospital’s medical response system to the new coronavirus from the previous four stages to five stages, and conduct RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction) test on all hospitalized patients.

Under the strengthened system, the hospital began to conduct the COVID-19 test on all newly hospitalized patients on Monday. Prior to the move, the hospital had tested all pneumonia patients using RT-PCR, treated patients with respiratory symptoms separately, and cared for confirmed patients at negative pressure rooms.

Myongji Hospital, located in Goyang, just north of Seoul, had operated a four-stage treatment system -- relief outpatient care, screening clinic, pneumonia ward, and general practice. On Monday, it added the firth level by conducting RT-PCR on a patient one day before hospitalization. The hospital then sends patients showing negative responses to general wards and hospitalizes those with positive responses at the negative pressure room.

Would-be inpatients should self-quarantine at home. However, patients who require urgent hospitalization or come from other provinces will wait in the admission screening unit (ASU) until results come out.

This is Myongji Hospital’s admission screening unit, where patients wait for their hospitalization before the results of the COVID-19 test come out. (Credit: Myongji Hospital)

The existing pneumonia relief ward has been changed to Pneumonia Surveillance Unit (PSU), and those inpatients who show pneumonia symptoms without taking the COVID-19 test will be moved to PSU to take RT-PCR and chest CT tests.

Myongji has designated and run the entire area of its Regional Emergency Medical Center (Block E) as “COVID-19 Building.”

The first floor of Block E consists of emergency and relief outpatient centers, screening clinics, and negative pressure rooms. The third floor has a PSU, and the fourth floor, the ASU. The second and fifth floors have negative pressure rooms exclusively treating COVID-19 confirmed patients.

"If we could compare the fight against COVID-19 to Admiral Yi Sun-shin’s successful defeat of Japanese invaders, the Block E should play the role of the turtle ship,” Myongji Hospital Chairman Lee Wang-jun said. "Conducting virus tests on all inpatients is one of the preemptive measures to block in-hospital infections.”

This hospital is ready to put it into action even at its own expense if some patients refuse the expensive test not covered by health insurance, Lee added.


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