NOVEL TECHNIQUE OF MASS TRIAGING OF COVID 19 POSITIVE PATIENT: SABAH EXPERIENCE
Keywords:COVID-19, pandemic, mass triage, 1-minute exercise stress test
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an acute respiratory tract infection caused by SARS-COV-2 and has spread worldwide with alarming speed and led to a significant impact globally. According to the Ministry of Health Malaysia, a total of 12152 patients were COVID-19 positive from 22nd October to 4th of November 2020. Hence, mass triaging kicked in when there were huge casualties, especially in disaster. In this COVID-19 pandemic, the mass triaging concept was applied, only those who needed urgent attention would be admitted to the nearest medical facilities while those asymptomatic would be monitored by medical personnel in their centre and referred for admission if clinically deteriorated. A total of 1627 male patients aged from 15 to 65 years old were involved in this study. All the patients are compulsory to perform “1-minute exercise stress test”. Exertional desaturation with a fall of 3% or more in oxygen saturation after the 1-minute exercise, indicating that patient requires an attention on receiving treatment earlier and getting admission for observation. Among 1627 positive patients about 49 were directly admitted to hospital as was detected as stage 3 and above. There were about ten medical personnel involved in the whole mass triaging. The mass triaging was carried out in 5 days, it took 1.64 minutes to screen one patient and it’s convenient and fast. Our study showed that the mass triaging technique could be applied in pandemic period to prioritize and expedite the admission process for critically ill patients who will require urgent treatment before they deteriorate further.
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