What happened to the patients on the floor? Hospital Kuala Lumpur director explains after pictures go viral

·3-min read
This picture taken from social media shows a health worker attending to a patient on the floor. — Picture via Twitter/@azirasalfarina
This picture taken from social media shows a health worker attending to a patient on the floor. — Picture via Twitter/@azirasalfarina

KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 — Hospital Kuala Lumpur director Datuk Dr Heric Corray stepped forward today to clarify the situation that saw a recent patient brought into its Emergency and Trauma Department being treated on the floor.

Pictures of that particular incident, and other similar incidents in public hospitals have been widely shared on social media over the past few days since July 1, resulting in an outpouring of dismay and questions from Malaysians.

Dr Corray explained that the patient in the Emergency Department was brought in unconscious and had no pulse nor breath.

“At that time, all the beds were in use and at that time, the floor was the only suitable flat surface for CPR (Cardio-Respiratory Resuscitation) to be performed immediately.

“However, the patient could not be saved,” he said in a statement.

He said the patient’s body has been sent to the HKL Forensic Department for a post-mortem examination as the cause of death could not be determined at that time. The results are still pending, he added. He did not disclose when the incident happened.

Dr Corray also addressed a separate incident at HKL that had been just as widely shared on social media showing another patient being treated on the floor.

He explained that it was another emergency treatment being performed as the patient was having a seizure at that time and was at risk of falling off the canvas bed if given there.

“Based on safety factors and the urgency, the patient was laid down on the side to prevent saliva from entering into the lungs that would place the patient at risk,” he said without disclosing details of the patient including the age and gender, nor the date or ward of when the incident happened.

This picture taken from social media shows health workers attending to a patient on the floor. — Picture via Twitter/@azirasalfarina
This picture taken from social media shows health workers attending to a patient on the floor. — Picture via Twitter/@azirasalfarina

Dr Corray admitted that bed occupancy in HKL, including at its intensive care unit (ICU), have risen to “very high levels” as the facility is treating many Covid-19 patients. He added that most were in Stage Four.

“However, bed occupancy planning is always being looked into and occupancy is based on current needs,” he said. He stopped short of saying if there was a shortage of beds or if it was at a critical level.

Instead, he said that HKL has deferred elective surgery since last December as the hospital is prioritising emergency cases.

Dr Correy said the oxygen supply for warded patients is currently sufficient.

He explained that HKL is a public hospital and is part of the network to treat Covid-19 cases. The arrangement of which hospitals handle which cases for Kuala Lumpur and neighbouring Selangor are handled by the Central Region Covid-19 Unified Command Center (UCC), he said.

“HKL receives critical and emergency cases that are referred by Covid-19 Quarantine and Treatment Centre at MAEPS, Selangor which is dealing with Stage One to Two and also Stage Three and Four at this time,” he said.

He said HKL will treat all critical patients until their condition is no longer deemed critical, and will then be shifted to other hospitals like the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital and the nearby Respiratory Medicine Institute.

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