Suspected COVID-19 patient treated inside car still awaiting hospital admission

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 8)— A suspected COVID-19 patient who received treatment inside a car on the premises of a Cavite hospital is still waiting to be admitted — almost a week after being rushed to the facility because of breathing difficulties.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Doctor Jamie Amposta revealed that as of Thursday morning, the 66-year-old woman they first treated inside the sedan remains on queue at the outdoor tents.

The patient and her family first drove to the private hospital in Dasmariñas on Saturday.

“The last update [that] was given to me, nasa tent pa din po ang patient (the patient is still in the tent),” Amposta told The Source.

Amposta added the patient was advised to use a “higher kind of oxygenation,” but noted the family had to defer the treatment due to financial constraints.

The makeshift isolation room — which went viral on social media earlier this week — was the lone option Amposta and her ER team could offer the patient’s family, since beds and tents in the hospital were full amid the spike in COVID-19 cases.

Amposta said the patient brought with her a negative COVID-19 test result, but noted the hospital staff could not consider her a "clean case" as she was showing related symptoms.

'Lesser evil'

In an earlier interview with CNN Philippines, Amposta recalled how she and her staff had to improvise their emergency treatment for the patient, who was suffering from low oxygen levels at the time.

The team brought out a towering oxygen tank to the family’s car, and built temporary IV fluid stands using tubes and medical tape to stabilize the patient.

READ MORE: Patient gets COVID treatment inside car pending hospital admission

While it was her first time to encounter such treatment in her six years of ER practice, Amposta admitted the situation is not ideal, adding this is not something she would recommend to her fellow practitioners.

“I just thought of the lesser evil somehow,” Amposta said.

“At least, I tried to give something,” she pointed out. “Because a lot of people are really left to die in their cars because of the situation, because wala na po talaga silang mapuntahan (they can’t go anywhere else).”

Amposta’s hospital is just one of the several facilities that have been reporting critical and full capacity for patients amid the continuous surge in coronavirus infections in the country, which reached over 819,000 on Wednesday.

CNN Philippines' Alyssa Rola and Melissa Lopez contributed to this report.