GMH prefers that any coronavirus patients be sent elsewhere

Guam Memorial Hospital
Guam Memorial Hospital (PNC file photo)

If any coronavirus cases do occur on island, Guam Memorial Hospital Administrator Lillian Perez-Posadas said that GMH might be able to handle a maximum of three patients in one of their negative air pressure rooms which would ensure the airborne virus does not leave the room.

“We actually did a dry run,” said Perez-Posadas. “We did a lot of inspections on our isolation rooms and made sure that they’re all fully functioning in terms of making sure that it’s air tight and has negative air pressure.”

However, she said GMH would prefer that any coronavirus case be isolated somewhere else because there are TB and influenza cases that the hospital is already dealing with.

Two of the isolation rooms are in the emergency room, but in order to avoid spreading the disease, Perez-Posadas said: “I really would prefer not to bring any of them into the ER.”

The two ER isolation rooms are often in use, she said. “We still have tuberculosis and people come in with influenza A … so those kinds of cases we still have to exercise caution and isolation.”

There are other isolation rooms throughout the hospital in different areas, said Perez-Posadas. Any patient who may potentially have contracted the coronavirus would be taken “directly into the isolation room, rather than having them go into the ER triage area.”

Still, “my recommendation is not to have GMH be the go-to” facility for any coronavirus case, said Perez-Posadas.

“We’ll take care of one if it comes in,” she said, “but if it starts to pick up we don’t have the capacity to keep these patients in isolation.”