Skip to comments.Uproar over conditions at Hoping Hospital [Taipei, Suicide attempt from 7th floor]
Posted on 04/28/2003 3:21:32 AM PDT by zook
FRUSTRATIONS: A staff member apparently tried to commit suicide as people inside and outside Hoping Hospital complained about the facility's quarantine
By Debby Wu STAFF REPORTER
Monday, Apr 28, 2003,Page 3
"There is no proper quarantine equipment ... in the hospital. It is possible that everyone who is in the hospital is infected with SARS. Right now it is likely that any medical staff who have contracted SARS are still caring for non-SARS patients."
Fang Ying-jen, dean of Taipei Municipal Hoping Hospital's radiation department
A Taipei Municipal Hoping Hospital staff member tried to jump from one of the hospital's windows yesterday as those under quarantine inside continued to vent their frustrations to the outside world.
The apparent suicide attempt failed after two other people dragged the person back inside.
Others inside the facility hung more protest signs on the outside of the hospital to press their case to be released. Many expressed fears about being in such close quarters with those who had been confirmed as having severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
"We are healthy people, we want separation from SARS patients. We want to get out of Hoping Hospital and we don't want to wait for death," one sign read.
Via a videoconferencing system set up for those under quarantine to contact their families, the dean of the hospital's radiation department, Dr. Fang Ying-jen (ûéò¿), complained to the media about the way SARS cases were being handled in the hospital.
"There is no proper quarantine equipment ... in the hospital. It is possible that everyone who is in the hospital is infected with SARS," she said.
"Right now it is likely that any medical staff who have contracted SARS are still caring for non-SARS patients. A chain reaction may be inevitable.
"If we do not do anything about the situation, in the end it may be that everyone will contract SARS," she said.
She also said that those sleeping in the hospital's Alternative Service Training Center were at grave risk of catching the disease because there were six people sleeping in each room.
"So far there have already been three cases of high fever among those staying at the center," she said.
"I strongly urge the government to help quarantine the Hoping staff with a room for each person. There are many locations in Taipei suitable for this kind of confinement.
"The most important thing now is to try and save all the patients," she said.
Outside the hospital, family members of those under quarantine gathered to protest the treatment of their loved ones. A man surnamed Yang carried a banner criticizing Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (npã) handling of the affair.
"Please step up to save us innocent people," the banner urged central government officials.
Yang's mother was admitted into the hospital with intestinal problems and his sister was inside visiting her when the quarantine order was enacted.
"Earlier it was heard inside the hospital that those who had no SARS could be released soon, but it never happened," he said. "Those without SARS should not be confined for such a long time. I will be relieved only when my family is sent to somewhere safe."
His story was corroborated by a man surnamed Chen, whose sister is a nurse working on the 7th floor of the B building, where a number of people are thought to have caught the disease. Chen said his sister told him that the authorities had agreed to release those without SARS. But that the decision was reversed a day later, he said, with SARS patients being removed and those without symptoms remaining at the hospital.
"Now the staff inside are not in a mood to work anymore," he said.
At a press conference yesterday morning, a relative of someone inside the hospital angered Deputy Taipei Mayor Ou Chin-der (^çúº) by suggesting that he had lied.
"Do not spread any more rumors," Ou shouted. "The important thing now is to help the people inside. We will always tell the public the truth and we need public support too."
Meanwhile, the Taipei City Government moved to monitor how SARS cases were being handled in the hospital. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USCDC) epidemiologist Jim Lando and the former director of the city's Bureau of Health, Yeh Chin-chuan (tàì), entered the hospital yesterday afternoon.
"The separation policy has been in place for a few days. Now Yeh and Lando will be inside to see whether it is running smoothly."
Also yesterday, 18 people suspected of having SARS were transferred from Hoping Hospital to Air Force Sung Shan Hospital. Another 40 possible cases will also be moved to Sung Shan Hospital today, while 16 possible cases will be moved to other municipal hospitals, with each taking two patients.
As of press time last night, according to the Taipei City Government, there were three deaths related to SARS.
According to some dip on FNC yesterday, they don't need masks or gloves for protetion..... yada, yada... yeah right!
I am praying for your sister.
This situation is turning into a nightmare! Still keeping your sister in my prayers.