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The Malaysian Ministry of Health (MOH) has decided that there is a need of a field hospital in Labuan to cater to the needs of patients COVID-19 which increased dramatically since the end of May 2021. Among the contributing factors to this situation including Labuan's position as one of the entry points for shipping sectors and oil & gas exploration sector as well as Variant of Concern (VOC) Delta that have higher infectiousness and resulting in more serious cases.
The MOH, in collaboration with various agencies including ATM, NADMA, Mercy Malaysia and Labuan Corporation has set up a field hospital in Dewan Labuan Corporation. Medical assets as well as total of 98 medical personnel have been mobilized for establishment of this hospital. The field hospital was purpose to treat high risk COVID-19 patients (category 3 and above) with a capacity of 100 beds, including 4 transit ICU beds.
A total of 243 patients were admitted over 4 weeks from June 27 to July 24, 2021. The average length of stay was 7 days; 54.3% of patients were male, the average age was 48 years, and 30% were 60 and older. There were 3 intubations, 2 required NIV and 7 required HFNC. Fortunately, there were no cardiopulmonary arrests, or patient deaths reported.
Partnership with various agencies was essential for logistical and medical resource support. ATM, Mercy Malaysia and Labuan Corporation provided infrastructure and material support for construction and physical space. The MOH provided most of the clinical staffing and medical supplies. The rapid time frame for implementation was another challenge. This was addressed by good clinical leadership as well as expertise in operations and scaling. In addition, expertise in COVID-19 clinical management was also important. Workforce challenges, such as staff with varied clinical backgrounds and experience, were optimized by using team-based care.
Field hospital is very important to offload COVID-19 patients from strained healthcare infrastructure and provide essential care to these patients. Partnership with various agencies was essential for logistical and medical support. In addition, dynamic workflows necessitated clear communication pathways, clinical operations expertise, and highly adaptable staff.
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