Rush to Get Tested at Hospitals over Lack of Rapid Tests 本土攀升.快篩難買 雙北醫院擠滿採檢人潮

People that feel unwell seek emergency treatment in order to get tested due to the shortage of rapid test kits. Experts say it not only prevents the critical care of patients in grave condition, but also increases the risk of cluster infection.


A long line has formed at the testing station outside this hospital's ER. Some people waited 40 minutes to get tested, while others walked away empty-handed. The surge in the number of COVID-19 cases has been compounded by the dearth of rapid test kits. Many people with concerns about infection are going to hospitals to get PCR tests. This situation is particularly serious in hospitals in the greater Taipei area.

Resident: “I came to see my husband. I arrived too late and they said all there were no spaces left. They told me to try again in the afternoon, at 1 p.m.”

Resident: “We want to get tested on a regular basis and see what our health condition is, in order to comply with our company's policy. We have to get tested.”

People rushing to hospitals to get tested may end up crowding out patients in need of critical care and increasing the risk of cluster infection. The Taiwan Society of Emergency Medicine issued four testing guidelines in response. Asymptomatic people that haven't been in contact with confirmed cases do not need to get tested. Those with mild symptoms can take a rapid test themselves. Those that have been in contact with confirmed cases or have been identified as contacts and need to quarantine and have mild symptoms should first take a rapid test themselves and go to a community testing site if they test positive. Emergency care should be limited to those experiencing chest pain or chest tightness, are unconscious, or have moderate to severe cases.

Chen Shih-ying, Emergency Physician, NTU Hospital: “When you mix people at risk and people not at risk together, then there will be the risk of mutual infection. Additional testing will definitely affect the capacity to treat emergency room patients. Perhaps other emergency physicians or doctors from other departments will have to be called in to assist.”

Doctors say effective triage is the only way to lighten the pressure on medical treatment resources.

 

 

醫院急診室外的採檢站排著長長的人龍,有人一等就是40分鐘,還有人因為採檢名額已滿撲了空,國內確診人數不斷攀升,家用快篩劑難買,不少民眾擔心染疫紛紛到醫院採檢PCR,雙北的醫院都快被擠爆。

有民眾說:「我要來看我先生,太晚來他說(篩檢)額滿了,叫我一點,掛下午的。」

也有民眾表示:「我們就是要固定一個時間點,來檢測我們自我身體有沒有狀況這樣,配合公司的需求規定,一定要做的。」

民眾一窩蜂往醫院跑,除了會排擠到急重症病救治,也可能會增加染疫風險。急診醫學會就公布4類篩檢指引,沒接觸史也無症狀的民眾,無須篩檢,若症狀輕微可自行快篩,要是有接觸史或匡列隔離中,輕微症狀先自行快篩若陽性再前往社區篩檢站,要是有胸痛、胸悶或意識不清等,中重症情況才需要到急診就醫。

台大醫院急診科醫師陳世英指出:「有風險跟沒風險的混在一起,基本上就會有一個比較像類交互傳染風險額外的篩檢,一定會影響急診病人處置的一個量能,也許是排出更多線的急診醫師,或其他科的醫師來支援。」

醫師表示,先自行快篩,再到社區篩檢站,最後才是求助醫院,做好分流才能減輕醫療量能的壓力。

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