Take charge of your health today

By The Medical City , | September 25, 2020

When to see the doctor during the COVID-19 pandemic


Keeping ourselves and our family healthy is important especially in this time of pandemic.

But as the number of COVID-19 infections in the country continues to rise and stay-at-home policies remain in place, physicians are concerned that many patients are choosing to stay at home even when they need treatment or emergency care, out of fear of contracting the virus.

“We understand that patients may be concerned and anxious about seeking medical care during this time but care delayed may often lead to more serious health problems,” says Dr. Edmond Dazo, ENT- Head and Neck surgeon at The Medical City (TMC).

The fear of contracting this terrible virus is understandable, but fear must be balanced with reason and caution as other diseases and complications will not stop during this pandemic.

Heart attacks and strokes still happen amid the COVID-19 crisis. Many serious conditions such as these two can be properly treated if patients receive care quickly. Every minute matters as it could be devastating or fatal if treatment is delayed.

If you or a family member is experiencing emergency symptoms, do not hesitate to seek urgent treatment in the nearest hospital. Emergency rooms are following strict safety measures to keep you safe from COVID-19. As for The Medical City, there are two separate emergency rooms – one for COVID-19-related cases and one for non-COVID-19 health concerns.

Aside from medical emergencies, here are some common time-sensitive conditions that you can – and should – still seek treatment for.

Chronic conditions

One reason people with chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes may be at higher risk of COVID-19 is because of a weaker immune system which makes it harder to fight off infections. If you are one of these people with chronic conditions, you need regular checkups and lab visits with your care team to monitor your progress and make sure your treatment is working.

You can still see your doctor through teleconsults or in-person appointments, if needed. While telehealth solutions are available if you want to speak with your doctor about a health concern unrelated to COVID-19, certain health issues however require an in-person visit. In some cases, a physical examination or a formal assessment which needs to be done in person is necessary before treatment.

Though COVID-19 may change the way you receive care, it is important for your health that your care does not stop. Just make sure you are taking steps to reduce your risk of getting COVID-19, including washing your hands, wearing a mask, and following physical distancing guidelines.

Cardiologists warn that if you think you are having a heart attack or some other heart issue, do not ride it out at home just because you are worried about COVID-19. It is important to see a doctor and get evaluated so you can get the problem taken care of in a timely manner.

“At The Medical City, we have safety measures to protect you or reduce your chances of being infected. So don’t ignore symptoms especially if you have a heart condition,” says Dr. Paolo Prado, TMC cardiologist.

Dr. Elizabeth Paz-Pacheco from the TMC Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, on the other hand says that as we combat COVID-19, let us also continue to fight against diabetes and its complications.

Dr. Pacheco advises diabetic patients to maintain their blood sugar goals as well as targets for blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight.

Medically necessary procedures and diagnostic tests

While the number of COVID-19 infections continues to rise, thousands have also suffered in other ways, due to delay in non –COVID-19 medical and surgical interventions. But as hospitals have gained sufficient amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) and implemented extensive safety measures and disinfection procedures to keep patients safe, previously delayed surgeries and procedures are now being rescheduled.

 “Your health is our number one priority. Whether you are coming for a surgery or medical appointment, rest assured that we have precautions in place to protect your health,” says Dr. Jose Antonio Salud, head of the Department of Surgery of The Medical City.

It is best to call your doctor if you have any concerns about your care or treatment plan.

Time-sensitive screening tests

Cancer screening saves lives. Colonoscopies and mammograms are examples of screenings that can detect cancer and other medical conditions.

If it’s time to schedule your regular screenings and if you have any concerning symptoms – don’t delay getting the care you need.

Cancer treatment

In general, the earlier a cancer is found and treated, the better the chances at survival and a healthy quality of life.

“Curing cancer is easier if diagnosed early. Do not wait. Do not let your fear paralyze you,” says Dr. Beatrice J. Tiangco, director of TMC Augusto P. Sarmiento Cancer Institute (APSCI).

Cancer patients staying away from hospitals in fear of catching the virus are likely to delay diagnosis or treatment, which may result in patients presenting themselves in advanced stages especially in certain kinds of cancer. There are also cancers which, if treated promptly and appropriately, have better long-term survival outcomes.

At APSCI, the attending physician will review each patient's care needs and determine the medical necessity for each individual. All consults are by appointment to minimize the patient’s risk of exposure to the virus. Patients are also advised to keep their chemotherapy appointments, unless their care team contacts them to reschedule.

Bone and joint conditions, spine problems

Doctors also advise patients not to delay treatment for bone injuries, bone and joint conditions, back or spine problems, and many forms of arthritis. Avoiding medical care until after the pandemic ends can lead to further injuries, increased pain, and even permanent damage in some cases.

If you are suffering from such conditions, talk to your doctor or go to the Orthopedic Multi-specialty Clinic of The Medical City. The clinic accepts patients with:

  • Fractures, dislocations and soft-tissue injuries of the extremities
  • Chronic joint disorders
  • Sports-related injuries, most commonly involving the knees, ankle, shoulder, elbow, and foot
  • Common hand conditions aside from those of a traumatic nature, including infections, acquired or congenital deformities, degenerative conditions and peripheral nerve disorders.

Childhood immunizations

Do not postpone your child’s crucial vaccination appointments. Children’s immune systems are more vulnerable to illness and disease, and vaccination schedules are scientifically designed with this in mind. The goal is to protect kids from vaccine-preventable diseases as early and as safely as possible. If you have a child who is due for any immunizations, call your child’s pediatrician to schedule an appointment.

Mental health

These are challenging times and widespread concern about this public health emergency is normal. While on home quarantine, you may feel frustrated or lonely, bored, or worried about a lot of things – your finances, your work, and your health and of your loved ones. It is important to pay attention to what you have control over, like taking care of your body and mental health as well. Suicidal thoughts, feelings or actions should not be ignored.

Mental health experts encourage patients to speak up about thoughts of suicide and feelings of hopelessness and despair and to recognize the warning signs of suicide. For consultation and inquiries, please call the TMC Department of Psychiatry at 8988-1000 or 8988-7000 ext. 6282.

Pregnancy 

During pregnancy, there are symptoms that could arise between appointments that should not be ignored. These symptoms include high-risk pregnancy symptoms and signs of hypertension, such as elevated blood pressure, severe headache, increase in swelling of hands, feet or face, or blurred vision that would warrant a call to their health provider or a visit to the emergency department.

Other worrying symptoms may include fever or any of the symptoms of COVID-19, decreased fetal movement, severe abdominal pain, signs of preterm labor and heavy vaginal bleeding. Pregnant women should call their doctor immediately for advice or guidance on what to do next.

Rest assured that keeping you safe and healthy is a top priority among health institutions.

TMC, for instance, has intensified infection control and decontamination measures and hospital safety protocols, including evaluating and treating COVID-19 patients separately from others.

“Amid  this  crisis,  our  regular  (non-COVID-19)  patients  remain  our  primary  client-partner base.  Their needs do not decrease with the pandemic, but have, in fact, been magnified by it.  Several  months  of  delayed  treatment,  borne  of  fear  and  physical  restrictions, aggravate pre-existing illnesses and spawn new ones.  They have to be addressed with equal fervor as we do our COVID patients,” says Dr. Rafael S. Claudio, TMC Chief Medical Officer.

For inquiries and appointments, call the TMC hotline at 89881000 or 89887000. Our hospitals and clinics are safe and ready to care for you. Let us help you take charge of your health today. 



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Take charge of your health today

By The Medical City ,

September 25, 2020


When to see the doctor during the COVID-19 pandemic

Keeping ourselves and our family healthy is important especially in this time of pandemic.

But as the number of COVID-19 infections in the country continues to rise and stay-at-home policies remain in place, physicians are concerned that many patients are choosing to stay at home even when they need treatment or emergency care, out of fear of contracting the virus.

“We understand that patients may be concerned and anxious about seeking medical care during this time but care delayed may often lead to more serious health problems,” says Dr. Edmond Dazo, ENT- Head and Neck surgeon at The Medical City (TMC).

The fear of contracting this terrible virus is understandable, but fear must be balanced with reason and caution as other diseases and complications will not stop during this pandemic.

Heart attacks and strokes still happen amid the COVID-19 crisis. Many serious conditions such as these two can be properly treated if patients receive care quickly. Every minute matters as it could be devastating or fatal if treatment is delayed.

If you or a family member is experiencing emergency symptoms, do not hesitate to seek urgent treatment in the nearest hospital. Emergency rooms are following strict safety measures to keep you safe from COVID-19. As for The Medical City, there are two separate emergency rooms – one for COVID-19-related cases and one for non-COVID-19 health concerns.

Aside from medical emergencies, here are some common time-sensitive conditions that you can – and should – still seek treatment for.

Chronic conditions

One reason people with chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes may be at higher risk of COVID-19 is because of a weaker immune system which makes it harder to fight off infections. If you are one of these people with chronic conditions, you need regular checkups and lab visits with your care team to monitor your progress and make sure your treatment is working.

You can still see your doctor through teleconsults or in-person appointments, if needed. While telehealth solutions are available if you want to speak with your doctor about a health concern unrelated to COVID-19, certain health issues however require an in-person visit. In some cases, a physical examination or a formal assessment which needs to be done in person is necessary before treatment.

Though COVID-19 may change the way you receive care, it is important for your health that your care does not stop. Just make sure you are taking steps to reduce your risk of getting COVID-19, including washing your hands, wearing a mask, and following physical distancing guidelines.

Cardiologists warn that if you think you are having a heart attack or some other heart issue, do not ride it out at home just because you are worried about COVID-19. It is important to see a doctor and get evaluated so you can get the problem taken care of in a timely manner.

“At The Medical City, we have safety measures to protect you or reduce your chances of being infected. So don’t ignore symptoms especially if you have a heart condition,” says Dr. Paolo Prado, TMC cardiologist.

Dr. Elizabeth Paz-Pacheco from the TMC Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, on the other hand says that as we combat COVID-19, let us also continue to fight against diabetes and its complications.

Dr. Pacheco advises diabetic patients to maintain their blood sugar goals as well as targets for blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight.

Medically necessary procedures and diagnostic tests

While the number of COVID-19 infections continues to rise, thousands have also suffered in other ways, due to delay in non –COVID-19 medical and surgical interventions. But as hospitals have gained sufficient amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) and implemented extensive safety measures and disinfection procedures to keep patients safe, previously delayed surgeries and procedures are now being rescheduled.

 “Your health is our number one priority. Whether you are coming for a surgery or medical appointment, rest assured that we have precautions in place to protect your health,” says Dr. Jose Antonio Salud, head of the Department of Surgery of The Medical City.

It is best to call your doctor if you have any concerns about your care or treatment plan.

Time-sensitive screening tests

Cancer screening saves lives. Colonoscopies and mammograms are examples of screenings that can detect cancer and other medical conditions.

If it’s time to schedule your regular screenings and if you have any concerning symptoms – don’t delay getting the care you need.

Cancer treatment

In general, the earlier a cancer is found and treated, the better the chances at survival and a healthy quality of life.

“Curing cancer is easier if diagnosed early. Do not wait. Do not let your fear paralyze you,” says Dr. Beatrice J. Tiangco, director of TMC Augusto P. Sarmiento Cancer Institute (APSCI).

Cancer patients staying away from hospitals in fear of catching the virus are likely to delay diagnosis or treatment, which may result in patients presenting themselves in advanced stages especially in certain kinds of cancer. There are also cancers which, if treated promptly and appropriately, have better long-term survival outcomes.

At APSCI, the attending physician will review each patient's care needs and determine the medical necessity for each individual. All consults are by appointment to minimize the patient’s risk of exposure to the virus. Patients are also advised to keep their chemotherapy appointments, unless their care team contacts them to reschedule.

Bone and joint conditions, spine problems

Doctors also advise patients not to delay treatment for bone injuries, bone and joint conditions, back or spine problems, and many forms of arthritis. Avoiding medical care until after the pandemic ends can lead to further injuries, increased pain, and even permanent damage in some cases.

If you are suffering from such conditions, talk to your doctor or go to the Orthopedic Multi-specialty Clinic of The Medical City. The clinic accepts patients with:

  • Fractures, dislocations and soft-tissue injuries of the extremities
  • Chronic joint disorders
  • Sports-related injuries, most commonly involving the knees, ankle, shoulder, elbow, and foot
  • Common hand conditions aside from those of a traumatic nature, including infections, acquired or congenital deformities, degenerative conditions and peripheral nerve disorders.

Childhood immunizations

Do not postpone your child’s crucial vaccination appointments. Children’s immune systems are more vulnerable to illness and disease, and vaccination schedules are scientifically designed with this in mind. The goal is to protect kids from vaccine-preventable diseases as early and as safely as possible. If you have a child who is due for any immunizations, call your child’s pediatrician to schedule an appointment.

Mental health

These are challenging times and widespread concern about this public health emergency is normal. While on home quarantine, you may feel frustrated or lonely, bored, or worried about a lot of things – your finances, your work, and your health and of your loved ones. It is important to pay attention to what you have control over, like taking care of your body and mental health as well. Suicidal thoughts, feelings or actions should not be ignored.

Mental health experts encourage patients to speak up about thoughts of suicide and feelings of hopelessness and despair and to recognize the warning signs of suicide. For consultation and inquiries, please call the TMC Department of Psychiatry at 8988-1000 or 8988-7000 ext. 6282.

Pregnancy 

During pregnancy, there are symptoms that could arise between appointments that should not be ignored. These symptoms include high-risk pregnancy symptoms and signs of hypertension, such as elevated blood pressure, severe headache, increase in swelling of hands, feet or face, or blurred vision that would warrant a call to their health provider or a visit to the emergency department.

Other worrying symptoms may include fever or any of the symptoms of COVID-19, decreased fetal movement, severe abdominal pain, signs of preterm labor and heavy vaginal bleeding. Pregnant women should call their doctor immediately for advice or guidance on what to do next.

Rest assured that keeping you safe and healthy is a top priority among health institutions.

TMC, for instance, has intensified infection control and decontamination measures and hospital safety protocols, including evaluating and treating COVID-19 patients separately from others.

“Amid  this  crisis,  our  regular  (non-COVID-19)  patients  remain  our  primary  client-partner base.  Their needs do not decrease with the pandemic, but have, in fact, been magnified by it.  Several  months  of  delayed  treatment,  borne  of  fear  and  physical  restrictions, aggravate pre-existing illnesses and spawn new ones.  They have to be addressed with equal fervor as we do our COVID patients,” says Dr. Rafael S. Claudio, TMC Chief Medical Officer.

For inquiries and appointments, call the TMC hotline at 89881000 or 89887000. Our hospitals and clinics are safe and ready to care for you. Let us help you take charge of your health today. 


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Related News

October 12, 2020

Saving for Your Rainy Day: Why We Need to Invest in Mental Health

When we see mental health depicted in popular media, it often features an anxious patient in the warm office of her psychiatrist, in a space far separated from the day-to-day world that one is used to. Several months into quarantine, however, the reality is much closer to one’s home than their mental health professional’s clinic, as many are forced to sequester themselves in isolation due to quarantine measures. As a result, mental illnesses are experiencing a meteoric rise during this quarantine. In response to this the World Mental Health Day, the World Health Organization, United for Global Mental Health, and the World Federation for Mental health have all begun calling for a global movement to invest in mental health.

Investing in mental health

When we think of the word investment, it is often attached to an object of financial significance that we seek to protect for years to come. In particular, psychiatrist from The Medical Department of Psychiatry and Vice President of the Philippine Psychiatric Association (PPA), Dr. Luzviminda Katigbak says the most precious thing we need to invest in is not a tangible object; rather, it is our mental health.

“When we say invest in mental health, the meaning of that is primary prevention. When we invest, it’s not about treatment or cure anymore. We invest so we can prevent mental health and disorders,” says Dr. Katigbak. Especially in such an uncertain time, many have slowly fallen into pits of despair as the period of uncertainty goes on, it is vital that professionals are more proactive than reactive in the ways that they treat mental illness.

According to Dr. Katigbak, the term investment allows for mental health to become a more manageable concept. “When we say invest, people put a high value on it. Investment has a return, just as taking care of your mental health does.” As one takes care of their mental health, one’s interactions with their family and work can increase and make them a productive member of society. By thus treating mental illnesses as something we can protect in the long run, we are able to prevent the onset of anxiety, depression, and other intense emotions.

This more proactive approach to mental health continues the momentum that the community has been experiencing prior to the pandemic in a much more tangible way. As information surrounding mental health becomes more widespread, individuals have been increasingly less likely to shrug off their problems, especially if they have no prior experience with mental illness.

The movement towards a better society

Like a broken leg or the flu, one’s state of mind can very much affect how they live their day-to-day existence, Dr. Katigbak reminds us. As the world remains in a pandemic, the limits and resilience of many have been tested, shaken, and overturn many times over. While depression and anxiety are normal responses to situations such as these, the length of time we have endured in this pandemic will most likely have a deeper impact on the mental health of many. As such, Dr. Katigbak proposes that we become more aggressive in how we talk about mental health issues.

While the information surrounding mental health is much better than it was a decade ago, many things still need to be done to spread more awareness. A commitment of many mental health care professionals has thus been to bring their advocacies to different seminars, workshops, and lectures which aim to teach others about the specifics of different ailments. By fitting these events into their schedules, Dr. Katigbak says health care professionals are able to take a much more proactive approach to mental health care

“While there is still definitely a gap, technology is on our side,” says Dr. Katigbak. In the past, traffic and travel were barriers for individuals to seek help from mental health professionals, one may now only need a gadget and internet connection to have access to proper care. This, according to Dr. Katigbak, has shown a significant increase in consultations and the spread of mental health awareness. This has been vital as there are many who still haven’t been able to seek help or are currently experiencing relapses.

What we can do

To manage one’s mental health, a general suggestion that Dr. Katigbak gives is to exercise as this increases what she calls “happy hormones”. This may be done regardless of one’s living conditions, as one need only be creative and innovative to do exercise routines. An example would be to climb your condo’s stairwells as a means to exercise. Another thing one can do is to take breaks and to breathe in between tasks when one stuck to their desks and computers. This can very much ease one’s mind from feeling overwhelmed amidst all the work that needs to be done.

Dr. Katigbak also mentions that while we may be physically isolated, we must not be socially detached. As such, we must try to connect with people or reach out to those who may need a connection. Examples of people who need this the most are the elderly. “It is incumbent of younger people to look after the mental health of older people,” says Dr. Katigbak as many older generations may not have immediate access to professional help in the same way young people do. Things the youth can do are to install apps in the gadgets of their grandparents or send them webinars that they can view.

By taking these proactive steps and educating others about what can be done to help one’s mental health, one can help both themselves and those around them. This pandemic has shown that mental health can be fragile especially in such a precarious time. These don’t need to be grand things, rather little everyday actions that can help us stay healthy in this pandemic, says Dr. Katigbak. By investing in mental health, we can prevent the onset of ailments and encourage a much healthier society.

-

This article was written by Alexandra Goño, writer/contributor to Rappler and Town and Country Philippines.

Read more

October 06, 2020

Convalescent Plasma Donation for COVID–19 Survivors

What is convalescent plasma donation?

COVID-19 convalescent plasma is collected from a person who has recovered from the disease. It is the yellow liquid portion of the blood that contains the antibodies which can neutralize the virus. The usual manner of collection is by plasmapheresis where the donor is hooked to an apheresis machine fitted with sterile and disposable kits. With a needle stick to the donor, blood is drawn to the machine through the attached tubing. Blood is mixed with an anticoagulant and processed inside the machine. The red blood cells are returned to the patient through a tube and needle while about 300 to 600 ml of plasma is harvested into the bag. The entire procedure takes about 45 to 90 minutes. A donor may donate again after two weeks. The donated convalescent plasma will be transfused to a patient suffering from COVID-19 to neutralize the virus and help him or her recover.


Who can donate?

  • Healthy adult (≥ 18 years old but ≤ 65 years of age) weighing more than 50 kg. with a previous confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 by RT-PCR and has recovered from the disease.
  • evidence of recovery by any one of the following:
  • Complete resolution of symptoms at least 14 days prior to donation, AND negative results for COVID-19 from 1 or more nasopharyngeal swab specimen using RT –PCR, or
  • Symptom-free for at least 14 days AND two negative test results on two samples taken in separate occasions
  • Negative for any transfusion transmissible infection (Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Syphilis and Malaria)
  • No history of transfusion
  • Women without previous pregnancy

How can I donate?

Contact TMC Blood Bank at Tel No.: 8988-1000 ext. 6128/6129


Read more

September 18, 2020

Cutting Edge Neurosurgery at The Medical City

The Department of Neurosurgery at the Medical City under the Institute of Neurological Sciences headed by Director Dr. Louie Racelis, is home to cutting edge neurosurgical procedures made possible by its diverse team of experts in the field and the latest available technologies. The combination of these two core components aids the practice of good neurosurgery at our institution. The neurosurgical team headed by Dr. Michael Sabalza was able to perform state-of-the-art procedures with the help of Dr. Guillermo Liabres, visiting Cerebrovascular consultant, alongside Neurosurgery residents Dr. Marinelle Castro, Dr. Jerold Justo, Dr. Avegail Uy and Dr, Alma Corazon De la Cruz on patients with complicated cerebrovascular lesions.


An STA-MCA (Superficial Temporal Artery - Middle Cerebral Artery) bypass procedure was performed for a previous stroke patient - A 55 year old male patient at risk of developing secondary strokes because of a block in the carotid arteries which are a major blood supply in the brain. The bypass procedure was done by connecting an artery outside the skull and into an artery inside the brain to supplement the blood flow that is already lacking that puts the patient at risk for strokes in the future.

The procedure starts with dissection of the arteries and this is made possible with the use of the Zeiss Kinevo 900 that provided great magnification and optics necessary in connecting very small blood vessels in the brain. This sophisticated microscope is a new acquisition of TMC that is the latest and newest technology in the world.

With proper skill, technique and technological guidance, we are able to sufficiently trace the blood flow coming from the superficial arteries going into the brain. A unique filter in the microscope using a dye called indocyanine green allows us to see the final product of this connection to confirm its success. Intraoperatively, we were also guided by a Doppler ultrasound which enables us to hear the strength of every pulsation of the vessels.



View of the blood vessels during infusion of indocyanine green which enables us to see blood flow and the newly reconstructed pathway going to the brain.



After the surgery, the patient did very well and was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit for further monitoring. The patient did very well post-operatively. Before his discharge, we were able to also get a CT Perfusion Exam which is an imaging in the brain confirming the patency of the new blood supply.

Before and after CT-Perfusion Exams showing blood flow on previous stroke


The Medical City alongside its Institute of the Neurological Sciences has shown that it will continue to strive to deliver the best in the field - guided by compassion and empathy to its patients and coupled with the best minds, skill, and technology to perform world-class surgeries.

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September 10, 2020

Warning Signs and Red Flags for Suicide

Close to 800,000 people die by suicide every year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Furthermore, for each suicide, there are more than 20 suicide attempts. Mental health experts say suicides are preventable and much can be done to prevent suicide at individual, community, and national levels.

Suicide is a serious global public health issue. It is among the top twenty leading causes of death worldwide, with more deaths due to suicide than malaria, breast cancer, or war and homicide.

The cause of suicide is unknown but there are common risk factors which include major psychiatric illness - in particular, mood disorders such depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia; substance abuse; losing hope or the will to live; significant losses in a person's life, such as the death of a loved one, loss of an important relationship, loss of employment or self-esteem, and unbearable emotional or physical pain.

COVID-19 and depression

Mental health experts are now concerned that the COVID-19 public health emergency could eventually lead to a mental health crisis, particularly affecting those who are at risk of depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicide.

This is because the pandemic may be stressful for some people. Dr. Imelda Batar, head of the The Medical City (TMC) Department of Psychiatry, cited the main sources of stress during this pandemic:

  • Uncertain prognoses
  • Severe shortages of resources for testing and treatment, and for protecting frontliners from infection
  • Imposition of unfamiliar public health measures that infringe on personal freedoms
  • Growing financial losses
  • Conflicting messages from authorities and other sources
  • Virus and illnesses caused by the virus
  • Quarantine and isolation

However, these public health measures are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

It is now more important that we all learn to recognize the warning signs of suicide. Such recognition -- combined with expressing concern and assisting the person with the next step toward getting professional help -- may be lifesaving. 

The warning signs for suicide include the following (adapted from the list on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention):

  • Talk or Written Words about: Killing Self/Suicide, Hopelessness, No Reason to Live, Being a Burden on Others, Feeling trapped, Unbearable Pain
  • Behaviors: Increased use of alcohol or drugs, Withdrawal from usual activities, Searching for way to end life, Isolating from family or friends, Highly worrisome changes in behavior
  • Mood: Depression, Anxiety, Loss of interest, Irritability, Humiliation/Shame, Agitation/Anger, Relief/Sudden Improvement

Other red flags are changes in appetite, sleep disturbance, and anhedonia or reduced ability to experience pleasure.

If you are concerned for a friend or family member, share your concern with this person, noting that you care for him or her. It is recommended that you to listen to and validate the person’s emotional pain, ask if he or she is having thoughts of suicide, and stay with the person until he or she is linked with needed help or with another person who will assist them in getting such help.

Related services available at The Medical City

The Medical City Department of Psychiatry, being the only private institution in the country that offers complete psychiatry subspecialties, takes a more active role in addressing the growing mental health needs of the country. Hence, the Center for Behavioral Health (CBH) was established.

The CBH is the first in the country to offer services that cover the entire continuum of mental health care – from wellness to illness; from assessment to early recognition, to therapeutic intervention to home care; from care that necessitates one therapist to care that necessitates shared responsibility among several team members; from individual therapy to group therapy, and from promotive to preventive care. The CBH is headed by Dr. Mary Daryl Joyce Lindo-Calleja. For inquiries, please call 8-9881000 ext. 6135.

References:

https://www.who.int/health-topics/suicide

https://medicine.umich.edu/dept/psychiatry/michigan-psychiatry-resources-covid-19/specific-mental-health-conditions/suicide-risk-recognizing-responding-risk-during-covid-19-pandemic

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August 19, 2020

FAQs on TMC Drive-thru Lab


  • Who can avail?
    • Those with or without doctor’s request for diagnostic laboratory tests
    • Those who will avail of the ECLIA antibody test for CoVid-19
  • How do I avail?
    • Go to the drive-thru facility for onsite registration and bring with you your doctor’s request (if any) for diagnostic laboratory test
    • Proceed to payment
    • Proceed to blood extraction
    • Wait for your result to be sent via email within 24 hours.
  • Where is the Drive- Thru Lab facility located?
    • The Drive Thru Lab is located at the back of The Medical City (Entrance through The Medical City Drive and Exit through MD Camacho Drive).
  • How do I prepare for the test?
    • There is no special preparation for this ECLIA antibody test . The blood draw will only take a few moments.
    • For other diagnostic blood tests, you may check with your physician as some may require at least 10 hours fasting prior extraction.
  • How much are the tests?
    • All diagnostic blood tests follow the outpatient rate
    • ECLIA antibody test price is Php 2,200.
  • How do I pay?
    • You may pay with Cash and credit at the Cashier on-site.
    • Senior Citizen/PWD Discounts are applicable.
  • Is it also open during weekends? 
    • Yes. The drive-thru lab site is open Mondays to Sundays, including Holidays from 7AM to 6PM.
  • What are the blood tests available?
    • ECLIA Antibody test for CoViD-19
    • Hematology, Clinical Chemistry and Serology (for full list, you may contact Ambulatory Care Center ext. 6267)

Blood Tests


CBC


Spec 23


Sodium (Na)

Spec 23

Potassium (K)

Chloride, Cl

TPAG

Amylase

Calcium

Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP)

Bilirubin: Total, Direct, Indirect

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)

Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS)

Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT/SGPT)

Creatinine

Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL)

Very Low Density Lipoprotein (VLDL)

Blood Uric Acid (BUA)

Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST/SGOT)

GGTP

Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH)

Phosphorus (P)

CPK-T

Blood typing


HBsAg


Glycosylated Hemoglobin (HbA1c)


Acid Phosphatase (ACP)

Enzymes

Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT/SGPT)

Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP)

Amylase

Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST/SGOT)

Creatinine Kinase (Total, CK-MB, CK-MM)

Homocysteine

Glutamyltransferase (GGT)

Lactate

Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH)

Lipase

Transferrin

Troponin T (Quantitative)

Troponin I (Qualitative)

Creatinine Kinase-MB (CK-MB)

Cardiac markers

B-type Natriuretic Peptide (BNP)

Troponin I

Troponin T

Calcium, Ionized

Electrolytes

Calcium, Total

Chloride, Cl

Magnesium (Mg)

Phosphorus (P)

Potassium (K)

Sodium (Na)

Dengue IgG & IgM


Dengue NS1


Hepatitis profile


Thyroid profile (T3, T4, TSH)


Prothrombin Time / PT / Protime


ECLIA test


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August 05, 2020

Be in and out in 90 minutes

Your health is important to us.

The Ambulatory Care Clinic is open to provide primary care for conditions that require immediate attention or for other medical concerns such as obtaining medical clearance certificate.

The Ambulatory Care Clinic accepts walk- in patients for Cash, Credit Card and HMO/Insurance transactions.


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August 04, 2020

Senior Citizen Surge Protection Package

The elderly are one of those population groups vulnerable to the current health challenge that we are all facing. We understand that it is recommended for them to stay at home. We also recognize that they need health monitoring and a supplemental boost in their immune system. The Senior Citizen Surge Protection Package aims to address this health concern.

For inquiries or to book an appointment, call 8988-1000 ext. 6386 / 6579 or email tmc_wcl@themedicalcity.com.


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July 13, 2020

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

The Center for Behavioral Health of The Medical City, Pasig City, has made Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) available for its patient and medical community. MBCT is a group based therapy that combines mindfulness training with Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). 

MBCT is proven to increase self-regulation, enhance mood, decrease anxiety, and prevent relapse of depressive episodes. 

MBCT is done in 2 1/2 to 3 hour, weekly sessions, spread over ten weeks, including the orientation and a mini, silent retreat.    

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MBCT is going to be offered online, using Zoom. Register through this link: Google Forms

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July 06, 2020

Schooling in the New Normal

While the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) halted the face-to-face classroom setup, there is a need to put measures in place to ensure that learning does not stop for the youth while keeping them safe once the ECQ if lifted.

Regardless of the level of spread in the local community, every school must be prepared prior to the resumption of school activities. This will help school administrators and partners understand how they can help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the school setting.

Planning, Preparing, and Responding to COVID-19

1. Coordinate with local health officials

  • Get an update on you community’s local COVID-19 data
  • Be aware of policies and practices implemented within your community that may affect the school’s operations
  • Immediately inform the local health sector when a possible exposure occurs within the school
  • Assign a coordinator between your school and the local health office,

2. Communicate with staff, parents, and students

  • The communication to be provided to the school community must be aligned with the local health office and the school’s emergency operations plan
  • Include messages to counter stigma and discrimination
  • Maintain the confidentiality of students or staff members as required by the Data Privacy Act
  • Provide information on new policies and practices implemented to prevent transmission in the school setting

3. Intensify cleaning and disinfecting efforts

  • Close off access to areas where suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients stayed at and ensure proper ventilation within 24 hours prior to disinfection.
  • Cleaning staff should clean and disinfect areas focusing on high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, phones, etc.
  • Use recommended disinfecting solution

  • Do not mix bleach and other cleaning or disinfecting products as this may cause fumes that are dangerous to breathe in
  • Ensure adequate supply to support cleaning and disinfecting practices
  • If possible, make touchless hand sanitizer dispensers available around the campus

4. Review continuity plans, including emergency operations plans

  • Make sure the plan includes the prevention of a wide variety of infectious diseases such as influenza, measles, etc
  • Include strategies to continue education and other related services
  • Emphasize everyday preventive measures

5. Develop information-sharing systems with partners as well as the parent community

6. Teach and ensure healthy hygiene practices

7. Have reminders available in various areas in the school to help prevent the spread of infection

8. Implement multiple physical distancing strategies

  • Consider postponing non-critical gatherings and events including field trips
  • Cancel or modify classes where students will be in close contact with each other
  • Adjust the distance between desks to be 1 meter apart
  • Stagger arrival and/or dismissal times to avoid crowding of students
  • Limit or avoid cross-school transfers and programs

9. Monitor and plan for absenteeism of students and school staff

  • Determine the level of absenteeism that will disrupt operations and the continuity of providing education
  • Alert the local health unit for a significant increase in absenteeism especially when the cause is related to COVID-19 symptoms such as coughs, fever/chills, sore throat, and body pain

10. Require sick students and staff to stay home

11. Consider special needs of students who may be at higher risk of getting infected

  • Communicate with parents and determine how the students’ needs can be met
  • Determine if and how to accommodate requests of parents who may have concerns regarding the students attending the school because of underlying medical conditions of the student or of those in their home

12. Should on-site school activities be resumed, plan for transportation assistance that can be offered to students


Ensuring Continuity of Education

As the ECQ is lifted, school must ensure that learning continues while implementing precautionary measures to promote safety in the school setting. These may be done by employing the following measures:

1. Consider e-learning as an option

  • Convert face-to-face learning activities to online teaching and learning tools as applicable
  • Train teachers to conduct e-learning activities
  • Determine how to triage technical concerns if IT support is limited or unavailable
  • Encourage parents/caregivers to conduct adult supervision during e-learning sessions for students below 18 years of age
  • Determine how to deal with students’ potential lack of access to computers and internet at home

2. Determine the need for the following:

  • Waivers for on-site school interactions/activities for a particular number of students
  • Implementation of new school schedule that will help enforce physical distancing and minimize the risk of transmission in school


Ensuring Safety during Travel to School

Once school resumes, students and staff who do not have access to private transport would need to make use of public transportation. Their safety must be ensured during this time. The following measures can be done to achieve this:

1. Educate students and staff on how to prevent getting or spreading infection:

  • Practice proper hand hygiene. Tell students to wash their hands with soap and water before and after their commute. Should water and be unavailable, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer may be used as an alternative.
  • Wear a face mask. Require students to wear a face mask at all times – whether in school or during their commute. This will help ensure coughs and sneezes are properly covered to protect those around them while also ensuring they are protected.
  • Observe physical distancing. A distance of at least 1 meter must be maintained between each passenger during a commute to minimize the risk of infection.

2. Provide alternative transportation options

  • Consider carpooling for students and staff living near each other.
  • Partner with local transport groups, whether public or private, to provide transportation for the school community. This may augment any existing transportation capacity the school may have.

By making staff, parents, and students are well-informed of changesfor the new normal in the school setting, the safety of those within the school and local community will be ensured.

To learn more about making schooling work at the comfort of your home, stay updated for learning opportunities through our Institute of Pediatrics. For inquiries, you may contact the institute at 8-988-1000/-8-988-7000 Ext. 6322.


Reference:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/index.html


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July 09, 2020

Get tested today - safely and conveniently

A pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) has been spreading throughout the world. Though molecular diagnostic tests (RT-PCR technology) are the gold standard for COVID‐19, serological testing is emerging as a potential surveillance tool, in addition to its complementary role in COVID‐19 diagnostics.

What is ECLIA Antibody Test?

The test is called serological Enhanced “Chemiluminiscence” Immunoassay or ECLIA. It detects antibodies produced in patient blood due to infection with SARS-CoV-2, the scientific name of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This serology test has a specificity of 100%* and sensitivity of 100%*. *(Sensitivity Confidence Interval of 92.7 to 100% > 8 days from onset of symptoms and Specificity Confidence Interval of 99.1 to 100%)

Sensitivity is the proportion of patients who do have the disease that return a reactive test result.
Specificity is the proportion of patients without the disease who return a non-reactive test result. Both are expressed as a number or percentage.

The sample that will be taken from the patient will be tested for total antibodies and IgG. The test detects all antibodies (IgM, IgA, IgG, and other isotypes) that develop in most patients as an immune response from eight days onwards (>8 days)  after symptoms of COVID-19 begin. These antibodies indicate if the patient may have had a recent or past COVID-19 infection (IgM /IgA/other Isotypes) and have developed antibodies that may protect the patient from future infection (IgG).

This ECLIA antibody test provides very important information to aid in diagnosis, management and recovery from COVID-19 and will also help researchers evaluate how many people in the population have been infected, which is important to planning infection control.

The ECLIA test is simple and straightforward. It involves taking a sample of your blood, which will be sent to a laboratory for analysis. Test result will be available within 24 hours.

Who might benefit from testing?

  • Asymptomatic individuals who are required to submit antibody testing for work clearance
  • Asymptomatic individuals who were exposed to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient at least 8 days prior to testing
  • Recovered and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients who wish to confirm the presence of antibodies in preparation for donation for convalescent plasma treatment

Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose acute infection with COVID-19. An RT-PCR must be obtained for this purpose. 

What is the benefit of the ECLIA Antibody Test?

The result may help limit the spread of COVID-19 for patient management, tracking and surveillance.

What does your result mean? 

Total

(IgM, IgA, IgG)

IgG

Possible Interpretation:

Non-reactive

Non-reactive

No SARS CoV-2 antibodies detected. May represent acute infection in the window period. Consult a doctor if symptomatic.

Reactive

Non-reactive

SARS CoV-2 antibodies present (including IgM or IgA), likely acute phase. Will need RT-PCR Testing.

Reactive

Reactive

SARS CoV-2 antibodies present (mostly IgG), likely recovery or convalescence phase.


Here’s a brief description of the types of CoVID-19 test: ECLIA, and Rapid Test.

ECLIA

Rapid Test

Description:

  • Performed on a fully automated machine, lab-based, and uses whole blood, plasma, or serum samples from patients.
  • This test can look for multiple types of antibodies, including IgG, IgM, and IgA.

Description:

  • A manual method for detection of IgM and IgG antibodies to the virus causing CoVID-19 in blood, serum or plasma samples.

Level of Accuracy:

  • It utilizes Enhanced Chemiluminescence
  • Technology and has 100% sensitivity* and 100% specificity*

*(Sensitivity Confidence Interval of 92.7 to 100% > 8 days from onset of symptoms and Specificity Confidence Interval of 99.1 to 100%)

Level of Accuracy:

  • Lower sensitivity and specificity, higher incidence of false negative.


Is ECLIA Antibody Test available at The Medical City?

The Medical City offers both Enhanced Chemiluminiscence Immunoassay or ECLIA antibody test  at its Drive-Thru COVID-19 testing site. The Drive-Thru testing using ECLIA is located at the back of TMC (Mondays to Sundays from 7AM to 6PM).

For more information about ECLIA and other CoVID-19 tests available at TMC, contact 8988-1000/8988-7000.

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August 13, 2020

FAQs on TMC Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing

What CoViD-19 tests are available at the TMC Drive Thru Facilities?

The Medical City offers both Enhanced Chemilluminiscence Immunoassay or ECLIA antibody test and RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction).

Enhanced Chemiluminiscence Immunoassay or ECLIA antibody test is the first and best fully-automated COVID-19 antibody test globally certified by the US and Philippine Food and Drugs Administration. Compared to the rapid antibody tests (RAT) that uses lateral flow method, ECLIA has up to 100%* sensitivity and specificity.

*(Sensitivity Confidence Interval of 92.7 to 100% >8 days from onset of symptoms and Specificity Confidence Interval of 99.1 to 100%)

RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test is the gold standard confirmatory test for COVID-19.

Where are the Drive- Thru facilities located?

The ECLIA Antibody Drive Thru test is located at the back of The Medical City (Entrance through The Medical City Drive and Exit through MD Camacho Drive).

The RT- PCR (Swab test) Drive Thru is located at the Basement 1 exit (MD Camacho Road)



I. What is ECLIA / Enhanced Chemiluminiscence Antibody Test?

ECLIA detects antibodies produced in patient’s blood due to CoViD- 19  infection. The serology test has a specificity of 100% and sensitivity of 100%. *(Sensitivity Confidence Interval of 92.7 to 100% >8 days from onset of symptoms and Specificity Confidence Interval of 99.1 to 100%)

Sensitivity is the proportion of patients who do have the disease that return a reactive test result. Specificity is the proportion of patients without the disease who return a non-reactive test result. Both are expressed as a number or percentage.

The sample that will be taken from the patient will be tested for total antibodies including IgG. The test detects all antibodies (IgM, IgA, IgG, and other isotypes) that develop in most patients as an immune response to SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of CoViD-19, eight days onwards from onset of symptoms. These antibodies indicate recent or past COVID-19 infection (IgM /IgA/other Isotypes) and possible protection the from future infection (IgG).

ECLIA antibody test provides very important information to aid in diagnosis, management and recovery from COVID-19 and will also help researchers evaluate how many people in the population have been infected, which is important to planning infection control.

What’s the ECLIA process? 

The ECLIA antibody test is simple and straightforward. It involves taking a sample of your blood to be sent to the laboratory for automated analysis.

  1. Go to the drive-thru facility for onsite registration and payment
  2. Proceed to the extraction area
  3. Wait for your result to be sent via email within 24 hours.

How do I prepare for the test? 

There is no special preparation for this ECLIA antibody test . The blood draw will only take a few moments.

How much is ECLIA at the Drive thru?

ECLIA antibody test price is Php 2,200.

How do I pay? 

You may pay with Cash and credit at the Cashier on-site for ECLIA antibody test.

*Senior Citizen/PWD Discounts are applicable.

Is it also open during weekends?  

Yes. The ECLIA antibody test drive-thru site is open Mondays to Sundays from 7AM to 6PM.

Who can get tested at the TMC Drive-Thru testing site? 

If you meet any of the following criteria, you may have ECLIA antibody test at the Drive-Thru facility:

  • You are asymptomatic – meaning you don’t have any symptoms.
  • If you feel well but have reason to believe you’ve been exposed to the virus. You should self-quarantine in this case.
  • You are asymptomatic and recovered COVID-19 patient who wish to confirm the presence of antibodies in preparation for donation for convalescent plasma treatment.

While you wait for your test results, maintain home isolation to help protect other people in your home and community.

What does your result mean?

Total
(IgM, IgA, IgG)

IgG

Possible Interpretation:

Non-reactive

Non-reactive

No SARS CoV-2 antibodies detected. May represent acute infection in the window period. Consult a doctor if symptomatic.

Reactive

Non-reactive

SARS CoV-2 antibodies present (including IgM or IgA), likely acute phase. Will need RT-PCR Testing.

Reactive

Reactive

SARS CoV-2 antibodies present (mostly IgG), likely recovery or convalescence phase.


ECLIA is not used to diagnose acute infection witofh COVID-19. An RT-PCR must be done for this purpose.




II. What is the RT-PCR Test? 

RT-PCR test (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test uses actual swabs from patients taken from the nose and throat to detect if a person has the coronavirus. RT-PCR tests are used as confirmatory tests for COVID-19. Real-time RT-PCR tests cannot tell you if you have had COVID-19 in the past; the test is designed to detect an ongoing infection.

The tests are performed and interpreted by TMC healthcare professionals following the most globally-accepted protocols, so you can be assured that the test has been conducted with the highest healthcare standards. The actual swabs are to be sent to the TMC laboratory, which is among the licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories in the Philippines.

What’s the RT- PCR Process?

The RT- PCR test sample is collected through swabbing. The medical staff inserts a separate thin, flexible cotton swab into the patient‘s nose and throat to collect a sample of mucus. One swab is gently rotated in both nostrils and another is brushed into the throat to collect enough mucus for the test. The samples are then get sealed in a tube and sent to the lab for analysis.

BOOKING: 

  1. Book your appointment through themedicalcity.com/covidtest
  2. Online payment instructions will be sent to you via email
  3. Once payment has been made, you will receive an email on the following:
    • Confirmation of payment and booking
    • Case Investigation Form (CIF) to be accomplished in 3 copies


ON THE DAY OF APPOINTMENT:

  1. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your schedule
  2. Show email confirmation and 3 copies of CIF to the guard at the Queueing Stop
  3. You will be asked to queue and will be provided a Drive Thru card to be placed on your windshield
  4. Enter through MATI parking and turn left heading to exit
  5. Proceed to the Drive Thru Lane
  6. Roll down your window and submit CIF to the medical staff
  7. The Medical Staff interviews and proceeds to swabbing
  8. Your result will be sent to you via email within 48 to 72 hours

REMINDER: Limit the people in your personal vehicle to a maximum of six to be tested.

How much does RT-PCR test cost?

RT-PCR test at the Drive-Thru site costs Php6,000.

How do I pay?

RT- PCR Drive Thru service is paid through a link for payment that will be sent by TMC Cashier. A confirmation email of your payment and appointment will be sent for all successful transaction.

*For Senior Citizen/PWD, ID numbers should be provided during the booking to avail of the discount.

How many can be tested in one vehicle?

Limit the people in your personal vehicle to a maximum of six to be tested.

Is there an age requirement to get tested?

Minimum age requirement is 8 yrs old. For patients who are 7 yrs old and below, they may be referred to Pedia MDs.

How far ahead can one book if he/she will be travelling?

Patients can book at least a day before (as long as the schedule permits) and payment should be made ahead of time as well.

Where is the testing site located?

The RT- PCR (Swab test) Drive Thru is located at the Basement 1 exit (MD Camacho Road)

Is it also open during weekends?

The RT- PCR (Swab test) Drive Thru is open Mondays to Sundays, 8am to 5pm.

Why RT-PCR test may be recommended? 

Your doctor may recommend a COVID-19 RT-PCR test if:

  • You have COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, tiredness, or shortness of breath
  • You've had close contact with someone who tests positive for the COVID-19 virus or is suspected of having the virus.
  • You're at high risk of complications if you become infected

While you wait for your test results, maintain home isolation to help protect other people in your home and community.

What does your result mean?

If you have a positive test result (SARS-CoV-2 (causative agent of COVID-19) viral RNA DETECTED), it is very likely that you have COVID-19. Therefore, it is also likely that you may be placed in isolation to avoid spreading the virus to others. There is a very small chance that this test can give a positive result that is wrong (a false positive result). Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine how best to care for you based on the test results, medical history, and your symptoms.

A negative test result (SARS-CoV-2 (causative agent of COVID-19) viral RNA NOT DETECTED) means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in your sample. For COVID-19, a negative test result for a sample collected while a person has symptoms usually means that COVID-19 did not cause your recent illness. However, it is possible for this test to give a negative result that is incorrect (false negative) in some people with COVID-19. This means that you could possibly still have COVID-19 even though the test result is negative. If this is the case, your healthcare provider will consider the test result together with your symptoms, possible exposures, and geographical location of places you have recently traveled in deciding how to care for you. It is important that you work with your healthcare provider to help you understand the next steps you should take.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/Factsheet-for-Patients-2019-nCoV.pdf

https://www.fda.gov/media/136151/download


Here’s a brief description of the types of COVID-19 test:

RT-PCR

ECLIA

Description:

·A real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from CoVID-19 in upper and lower respiratory specimens

Description:

·Performed on a fully automated machine, lab-based, and uses whole blood, plasma, or serum samples from patients.

·This test can look for multiple types of antibodies, including IgG, IgM, and IgA.

Level of Accuracy:

·The gold standard for CoVID-19 testing

·Results using RT-PCR yields 97% accuracy or higher

Level of Accuracy:

·It utilizes Enhanced Chemiluminescence

Technology and has 100% sensitivity* and 100% specificity*

*(Sensitivity Confidence Interval of 92.7 to 100% > 8 days from onset of symptoms and Specificity Confidence Interval of 99.1 to 100%)


For more information, contact the TMC Hotline at 8988-1000.

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July 03, 2020

7 Tips to Keep Your Face in Tip Top Shape While Wearing a Mask

We wear a mask to protect ourselves and others from airborne viral infection. While wearing a mask is protective, it can be a source of skin problems if you do not protect your skin. Here are some simple steps to keep your skin looking awesome.

  • Wear a mask that suits your facial shape. Not all masks are shaped the same. If possible, have yourself fitted for the right mask.
  • Change your mask once it is dirty or soiled. Using a dirty mask allows nasty bacteria to come in contact with your skin. This may cause infections such as mask-induced acne, otherwise known as “maskne.” To prevent dirt from accumulating on your mask, see if your mask is fit for re-purposing. This is a process of washing your maskand, if you are a health care worker, to have it sterilized at your hospital. If you are wearing a cloth mask, wash the mask with mild soap. Avoid strong detergents that can irritate your skin. Throw away masks that have tears and other signs of damage.
  • Prepare your skin before wearing a mask. Use a gentle skin cleanser to prep your skin. Avoid using strong antibacterial soaps. There are good bacteria on your skin that keep harmful bacteria at bay. When you kill the good bacteria, harmful bacteria grow unchecked. Gentle skin cleansers are sufficient to kill bad bacteria. You may use a mild anti-acne toner with salicylic acid to prevent pimples.
  • Protect your skin underneath the mask. Commuting exposes all of us to the elements. Use a sunscreen with at least an SPF 30 to protect it from ultraviolet light. You may use a strip of silicone sheet to protect your skin from the pressure of the mask.
  • Wear light makeup. Yes, it is okay to wear makeup, especially if it highlights your eyes. Light, non-occlusive make-up is safe to use.
  • Remove all makeup. When you keep makeup on your skin overnight, the hair follicles and oil glands are occluded. Keeping the face covered with make up overnight allows harmful bacteria to grow, resulting again, in “maskne.” Removing all makeup with a mild makeup remover and gentle skin cleanser enables the skin to breathe and stay healthy.
  • Apply anti-aging products.Invest in your skin to look young for a long time. Layer your products thinly on the skin for an additive effect. Retinoid medications such as tretinoin and their derivatives like retinoic acid and retinaldehyde help in skin turn over. Glycolic acid, alpha hydroxyacid, andother fruit-based products help slow down skin aging while maintaining moisture at the same time. Avoid occlusive products such as petroleum jelly and heavy cream which can cause pimples.

When should I see a doctor?If you have skin damage or breakouts that don’t respond to skin care changes, you should see a dermatologist. Many now offer virtual visits. Spreading redness or draining pus can be signs of infection. If this happens, seek immediate medical attention.


For inquiries, call Aesthetics by The Medical City at 8-9881000 ext. 6576 / 6579.

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July 01, 2020

Managing Your Child’s Nutrition: Knowing the Difference Between Hunger and Appetite

Parents often confuse hunger and appetite but when it comes to your child’s nutrition, knowing the difference between the two can make a big impact.

The Feeding Clinic under The Medical City (TMC) Center for Developmental Pediatrics (CDP) recently held a Picky Eater webinar titled “Hunger and Appetite” with pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Almida “Mitzi” Reodica as the resource speaker.

Early childhood nutrition, especially during the first 1,000 days of life, is essential in a child’s growth and development. As such, it is important for parents and those managing pediatric health and nutrition to understand the difference between hunger and appetite to help determine the best course of action.


The Role of Hunger, Appetite, and Satiety in Childhood Nutrition

Hunger is defined as a set of feelings or internal experiences necessary for a person to seek food while appetite is the preference that surrounds the selection of food available with or without the presence of hunger. The culmination of processes associated with the end of the meal is referred to as satiation.

Dr. Reodica also described hunger as an essential trigger that makes people want to eat. She detailed the different phases of hunger to better illustrate what happened when a person does become hungry.

  • Phase I – Prolonged period of quiescence or inactivity (40-60% of the time)
  • Phase II – Increased frequency of action potentials and smooth muscle contractility (20-30% of the time)
  • Phase III – A few minutes of peak electrical and mechanical activity (5-10 minutes)
  • Phase IV – Declining activity which merges with the next phase I

How these are regulated is affected by factors such as hormones, the nervous system, and intestinal muscles. By understanding the different phases of hunger and how it is regulated, we are able to determine possible controls when to help in the nutritional management of children, and even adults. 

Hunger and satiety may be affected negatively by gastrointestinal illnesses, medications, stress, and heavy meals prior to schedule mealtimes. As such, it is important to determine if any of these factors are present whenever a child says he or she is not hungry.

Appetite, on the other hand, is affected by a whole variety of factors such as homeostatic mechanisms (eating for calories and pleasure), hedonic mechanisms (eating just for pleasure), genetic predisposition, first taste, and family experiences. These different factors in appetite, along with the environmental influences, affect a child’s behavior towards certain food and eating.

By understanding factors affecting hunger, satiety, and appetite, primary caregivers can address the root cause and work around it to help the child eat and acquire the necessary nutrients he or she needs.


The Role of Family in Children’s Appetite

More than the biologic predisposition of children when it comes to appetite, the environment and experiences they have when they eat play a vital role. It is for this reason that the family plays a vital role in ensuring that children get the best nutrition by making mealtimes enjoyable and pleasurable.

Here are five tips to help parents make sure their children enjoy getting the nutrition they need:

  • Don’t force food on the children. Avoid force-feeding children. Offer the food but allow them to try it at their own pace.
  • Make it a sensory experience.  Allow the child to have a full sensory experience by looking at the food, smelling it, and feeling its texture before trying to taste it by licking and eventually biting, chewing, and swallowing it.
  •  Revise your grocery list. By ensuring that only healthy food is available at home, children will have no reason to look for non-nutritious food because it is unavailable. If at the beginning they are not exposed to junk food, they will not look or crave for them even when exposed later in life.
  • Make mealtimes time for the family. Take it as an opportunity to bond and make it a positive experience for the whole family
  • Build a support system. Make healthy eating something for the entire family. Set an example, be encouraging, and provide the support they need.

If you find your child picky, fearful, or fussy when it comes to eating, then you may benefit from part him or her.

The Medical City’s Center for Developmental Pediatrics Feeding Clinic is the first of its kind in the country. Staffed by a team of healthcare professionals, it provides a holistic multidisciplinary approach to managing feeding difficulties from the common to the most severe cases.

For inquiries, you may contact the Center for Developmental Pediatrics at 8-988-1000/8-988-7000 Ext. 6630 or email them at tmc_cfd@themedicalcity.com.

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June 30, 2020

A New Beginning for Angela | An Integrated Spine Program Story

The Integrated Spine Program (ISP) of The Medical City is a comprehensive program established to improve spine care delivery through highly competent doctors and staff, modern diagnostic tools and OR equipment, experienced support departments, and eventually, a dedicated spine ward. It is a program dedicated to the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of adolescents and adults with spinal disorders.

The ISP team of expert physicians provides a comprehensive approach to spine disorders, back and neck care. Both doctors and staff have undergone specialized spine training that would provide patients with quality spine care specific to their needs. The multidisciplinary team is composed of specialists in spine surgery, internal medicine, physiatrists, rehabilitation doctors, and occupational health. The goal of the team is to return patients to the fullest level of function as quickly and as safely possible.

To learn more about the program, please watch the video below which tackles the story of 14-year-old Angela Caleon who was diagnosed with kyphosis and severe scoliosis and have undergone spine surgery at The Medical City.

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June 29, 2020

Should I worry about finding blood in my semen?

Should I worry about finding blood in my semen? 

Unusual bleeding may be a potential cancer symptom thus seeing blood in the semen can make a man anxious. Fortunately, it is uncommon and rarely signals a major medical problem especially in men younger than 40. 

Hematospermia (also called hemospermia), which refers to the presence of blood in the semen, often does not last long, as it is usually a self-resolving problem.

Dr. Enrique Ian Lorenzo, urologist from The Medical City (TMC), says hematospermia is more often than not a benign occurrence which usually resolves spontaneously. However, an evaluation of a urologist may be necessary to rule out other causes especially in men who are at risk for certain diseases.

Causes of blood in the semen

It may be caused by infection or an inflammation. Infection may occur in the urinary tract and subsequently affect the tubes where semen passes through or even the prostate. This can develop due to typical urinary tract infections (UTIs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like gonorrhea or chlamydia, or from other viral or bacterial infections.

Men with an infection may notice other symptoms, including pain or pressure when urinating,  painful ejaculation, swelling in the genital area, a fever or generally feeling sick, and frequent urination or difficulty emptying the bladder.

Sustaining an injury to the urinary tract or genitals may also cause blood to appear in the semen. More serious injuries can cause swelling, chronic bleeding, and serious damage to the genitals. When this happens, a person may notice bloody semen that either lasts for a long time or comes and goes following an impact to the genitals, genital surgery, or a fall. These injuries should be managed in an urgent manner.

Men with bleeding disorders may also present with blood in the semen but is often accompanied by bleeding in other areas as well such as in the urine, gums, nose, or bruises in the body. 

Prostate issues

Problems with the prostate may give rise to bloody semen. One of the most common issues is prostatitis which can be a chronic issue due to inflammation or a sudden problem due to an infection. In either case, the person may notice symptoms other than hematospermia, including blood in the urine, painful urination, painful sex, and a feeling of fullness or swelling in the rectum or genital area.

Other common known causes of blood in the semen are surgical procedures such as prostate biopsy. Bleeding can last a few weeks or so after a prostate biopsy. Similarly, it may also occur during the first week or two after a vasectomy.

Dr. Lorenzo points out that on rare occasions, particularly for men over 45 years of age, blood in the semen can be a sign of prostate cancer. When this happens, a person may sometimes notice repeated bouts of hematospermia as well as other symptoms, such as difficulty in urination, pain in the groin or blood in the urine.

Men who have any of these warning signs and are over 45 should see a doctor within a few weeks.

Testing and Evaluation

Men with hematospermia are evaluated by the urologist first clinically by history and physical examination. Based from the gathered information, tests may be requested such as urinalysis, urine culture, ultrasound, and blood tests.

In most cases, especially in men younger than 40, and men who recently had a prostate biopsy, blood in semen may resolve on its own. However, further testing is done if the doctor suspects certain potentially serious disorders. 

In the evaluation for prostate cancer, testing typically includes prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and digital rectal exam (DRE). Occasionally, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and cystoscopy (to see inside the urethra and bladder) are needed.

With the continuous progress in medicine, the role of MRI scans of the prostate has evolved. It now plays a role in certain patients to identify lesions that are highly probable to be cancerous especially the aggressive type. Lesions identified in the MRI can then be targeted using a new method.

MRI Fusion Prostate Biopsy, a fully integrated fusion biopsy system specifically created for personalized prostate care, has been offered at The Medical City since 2018. With this technology, “targeted” biopsies are made possible by the fusion of ultrasound images of the prostate with MRI scans in real time to help urologists precisely target the area of the prostate that needs to be biopsied. Not only does this system guide in targeting lesions but it also confirms if the target was sampled. Now even small lesions can be biopsied with high confidence. 

Prostate cancer is treatable especially if caught early. When confined within the prostate, the cancer can be eradicated.

To learn more about prostate cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatments available at The Medical City, please contacts The Medical City Augusto P. Sarmiento Cancer Institute (TMC-APSCI) at 89881000 or 89887000 ext. 6214 or email cancerinstitute@themedicalcity.com

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June 29, 2020

Practice the 4S in Dengue Prevention and Control

The rainy season comes with different risks for illnesses such as Dengue. Read these tips on how you can help prevent and control dengue.

For inquiries, contact The Medical City Emergency Department at 8-988-1000/8-988-7000 Ext. 3215.



More tips found here: Dengue Prevention.pdf

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June 29, 2020

The Medical City Holds Webinar for Expectant Moms

What does it take to ensure safety for both mother and child during the course of pregnancy?

The Medical City (TMC) Institute for Women’s Health conducted a webinar titled “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” on June 20, 2020 with obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Giancarlo Santos and anesthesiologist Dr. Vanessa Ocampo as speakers. Dr. Santos gave a lecture on “I’m Pregnant…What Now?” while Dr. Ocampo talked about “Anesthesia Options.”

Dr. Santos described the normal anatomy of a woman’s reproductive system and enumerated the changes that occur during pregnancy. As he further discussed about pregnancy, he shared some health tips for the expectant mothers.

  • Nutrition – Eat a rainbow of different colored fruits and vegetables to ensure you and your baby get the nutrients you need for your journey to delivery. Remember to eat when hungry and stop when full.
  • Exercise − Pregnancy is not an illness so exercise should not be stopped. However, it is important to start slowly and gently then increase the activity gradually. Keep yourself hydrated and stop the moment you feel any discomfort.
  • Weight Gain – The maximum weight gain varies per pregnancy depending on the woman’s pre-pregnancy weight.

He also talked about the red flags during pregnancy that would warrant immediate consultation. These include premature rupture of the bag of water, bloody vaginal discharge, contractions, and decreased movement of the baby. At the first sign of any of these, seek immediate consult.

Dr. Ocampo then discussed the anesthesia aspect of labor and delivery including the different anesthesia options available for normal and cesarean delivery. “A pain-free labor experience will help the mother conserve her energy for when she bears down,” says Dr. Ocampo.

The best type of anesthesia to be used varies per patient depending on the pain tolerance of the mother and the progression of the labor. As such, it is best to discuss your options with your doctor as you go along your journey to give you time to prepare and manage your expectations.

During this time when traditional clinic visits may be a challenge, it is the best opportunity for women to be more attuned with their bodies and for their partners to be more engaged during the pregnancy journey. However, it is still important to get in touch with your healthcare provider because some concerns need a physical visit to the hospital.

Apart from this, protocols for prenatal check-ups and delivery were explained to help manage expectations during hospital visits. As a protective measure, consults are scheduled ahead of time and companions are discouraged during this time.

With the safety protocols in place at TMC and the expert and compassionate care of the doctors and staff, a total of 254 babies were safely delivered during the enhanced community quarantine which spanned from March to May 2020.

For inquiries regarding prenatal care and other pregnancy concerns, contact the Institute for Women’s Health at 8-988-1000/8-988-7000 Ext. 6338. The institute also offers monthly prenatal classes to continue providing expectant mothers the information they need throughout their pregnancy.

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