Tag Archives: philippine general hospital

YOLO…or twice, thrice…more lives, more fun (that is, if you’re a cat!): A Conclusion

5 May

EDIT JANUARY 26 2014: This entry, this post and this post has received the most number of viewers in this blog. People, if you have been bitten by an animal, much more a stray one, RUN TO THE NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM NOW! Click this link to find the most convenient hospital for you to go. Do also note that government hospitals have cheaper medicines compared to a private one, and the price will depend on your condition and the category of the bite. So whatever you read in this post is my experience, and may not be the same as yours. Again, RUN TO THE NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM NOW! and have yourself or your family member checked ASAP.

This is also me calling on the Department of Health. In this era of social media, it will be helpful if you guys put up a page or a website where patients can read about animal bites; and probably an updated list of Animal Bite Centers. Nowadays, people rely on the Internet for information, so it is best to keep them on the loop through this means. While I am thankful for the hits and happy to help, I don’t think I have all the info they need that should come from the proper authorities. So please heed my suggestion!

(I know I haven’t been very religious in updating this blog, so so sorry! This humble little nook I’ve built in cyberspace is enjoying a lot of hits from people who are looking for useful information regarding animal bites and treatments! Some of you are probably like me during the first few hours of my bite, looking for readables on how to get treated stat, because as we all know rabies is 100% fatal if left untreated!)

(Okay, enough yammering.) 

Nurse Michelle instructed me to get a blue patient card in the ER first before paying for my shots. Being that it was my first time at PGH, I got lost on my way to get that damned card. You see, the hospital is so vast that it’s very easy to get lost, and some people whom I asked for directions did not help at all. Luckily, I found a nurse who sneaked me into the closely-guarded, proxy-card-protected Emergency Room; but before I got to the information desk, I got lost again. Ack, too many corridors.

The information desk where I was to get the patient card is at the very entrance of the ER, and God knows how many patients of assorted emergency medical needs passed by me (I won’t elaborate)! Took me a good 15 minutes to get my card, then I went to pay for my shots; and again I had to hurdle through the proxy-carded door!

The cashier is in the other end of the hospital, just near its main entrance. The waiting on queue took ten to 15 minutes, but it only took three minutes to process my payment. Quick service from a government facility!

The PGH Cashier

I walked back to the Anti-Rabies Unit to get my shots from Nurse Michelle. When I arrived with complete and paid documents, she had me seated, prepared my Verorab shots and struck both my guns with the needle. All that in less than five minutes, but before I left she gave me the payment slip for the next session, giving me the option to pay for my next shot in advance, or on the next scheduled date.

I was given a vaccine schedule card at PGH ARU; and that’s the blue patient card behind it!

Easy? Yes! I actually prefer going to PGH than San Lazaro because:

  • San Lazaro–being a specialized hospital on animal bites–gets too crowded on weekdays. Why? Because those who were bitten during the weekend but do not fall under their must-treat-stat category are asked to come back on regular outpatient clinic hours.
  • In San Lazaro, they do not recommend their patient to buy the whole dosage of Verorab–either you have to split the tab with another person or pay for the whole vial and have not one idea where the other half of the shot goes. In PGH, they have single doses ready for you and you alone, although it’s P31 more than the one in San Lazaro. (btw, a dose of Verorab at PGH costs P500)

However, if you or a loved one is badly stricken by a pet or a suspiciously-rabid animal, you may want to rush to San Lazaro because like any other hospitals, they give urgent attention to these kinds of patients; but unlike any other hospitals–especially public hospitals–don’t stock on anti-rabies vaccines, most of the time they direct patients to San Lazaro. Private hospitals, on the other hand, do have shots ready, but are too expensive! My former officemate who got bitten by a stray cat almost paid at least P8,000 for shots at a private hospital near her dorm! Que horror! Good thing though, our HMO foot the bill for the first two shots, then she continued her treatments at Bulacan, where her parents are staying.

To conclude the Animal Bite Series in my blog, let me enumerate some lessons I learned during this ordeal:

  1. Be careful! Don’t just pet that cute doggy or kitty wandering the streets! You may have earned their trust, but some of your actions may agitate them, causing them to be aggressive.
  2. Got bitten already? Don’t hurt the animal! Just let it be, let it live! It is not only humane to do so, but you also get to observe if it’s rabid or not. If the offending animal gets sick or dies on or before the second week of your bite, then it is infected with rabies. I strongly advise, though, that you must NOT wait till this happen and rush to the emergency room of your preferred hospital  to get treated!
  3. My dad tells me the story of how he was bitten by a dog, a cat and a rat during his youth; and how he treated every wound of his with garlic. My mom also tells me that his father–my grampy–used to suck the wound of their neighbour’s animal bite to cure it. Boys and girls, THIS IS SO WRONG! While my dad and maybe the whole town where my Grampy was a town official-slash-folk healer (albularyo) lived for so many years, the medical world says otherwise! Should you be a victim of an animal bite, the first thing you should do is to let the would bleed, then wash it with soap and water. After that, clean it with alcohol, Iodine tincture (popularly known as Betadine) or hand sanitizer and keep it clean until you’ve reached your preferred health service provider. I reiterate, rabies is 100% fatal, and any wound caused by an animal should be taken seriously!

As to how my wound is, it’s barely visible now; although the Verorab shots quite made a mark on both my arms, but not that much of an annoyance. Sushi is still very much alive, but she doesn’t come that often anymore! 🙂

(read Part 1 of the post here)

(read the story on how I got bitten by a stray cat here)

YOLO, part 1

5 Mar

After the Bastard Cat incident that had me running to San Lazaro, I began telling my friends that getting bitten by a stray cat was a YOLO moment for me. You see, this had been my nth attempt to adopt a feral cat; and I suppose that this may be the last time I’m doing so. Don’t get me wrong, though! I still love kittehs and I still support the advocacy of saving ’em from the streets. It’s just that, I guess I should take a break from it all. Hehe.

I will have to be honest that after my San Lazaro experience, I did not want to go back and get my next Verorab shots there. For one, I considered how long will it take me to queue for my follow-up shots yet again on a weekday. I still can’t afford a sick leave since I haven’t been regularised, and the least I could ask my bosses is a half-day medical leave. Which brings me to the second factor: The accessibility of the hospital. Since the animalbitecenter.ph website is down, I had a hard time whittling down the public hospitals to call and ask if they have anti-rabies vaccines.

Lady luck must’ve been on my side when I called PGH and confirmed that they administer anti-rabies shots to bite victims. Only catch is, they only do it every weekdays.

Great!

Day 3 of my cycle, I went through my usual morning routine to prepare myself for work. Only that I need not alight my usual MRT station. Got off Taft Avenue and took the Yellow Line to Pedro Gil, where PGH is. It was a rather easy commute since I used to take that route back in college, hence the familiarity of the place.

But boy, I got lost inside the hospital!

My first time at PGH

My first time at PGH

It took me thirty minutes to look for the Anti-Rabies Unit of PGH. No thanks to a handful of security guards I bumped into who gave me different directions! When I arrived ARU, I was all sweaty, tired and panting from all the walking I did. I never knew that hospital is mighty huge!

PGH's Anti-Rabies Unit

PGH’s Anti-Rabies Unit

So ARU is just a tiny room at the second floor of the hospital, very near the Emergency Room. Actually, you may even pass by its corridors and see patients on your way to get your shots. That Wednesday afternoon, it was just me and a kid bitten by their pet dog; and his parents. I was attended to by nurse Michelle immediately who courteously asked me to sign some forms outside the room while I wait for the kid to finish his round of shots. Five minutes later, I was called by the attending MD and was asked several questions about how I got bitten by Bastard Cat, how I cleaned the wound, and food allergies I might have. I was also weighed to double check if I was given the correct dosage of ERIG at San Lazaro. The conversation only took us a good five minutes also, and then I was ushered to move to Nurse Michelle’s desk, where I waited for her to prepare the assessment forms that I will present at the cashier.

And then again, I got lost finding my way to the cashier. But first, I had to go get myself a blue patient card inside the ER.

(to be continued…)