3 victims of chemical leak remain at hospital

ONLY three of the 35 patients of Monday’s chemical leak in Bunawan remain admitted in the Southern Philippines Medical Center.

The three patients include a 30-year-old female, a 31-year-old male, and a 20-year-old female.

All of the 30 patients have been discharged while the other two transferred to another hospital.

The patients were given medical attention after reporting to be experiencing dizziness and nausea after inhaling chlorine that leaked from a facility in Sitio Licanan in Lasang.

SPMC chief of clinics Dr. Ricardo Audan said in a phone interview yesterday that the immediate response of the hospital was to decontaminate the patients. SPMC’s emergency room is capable of this and has facilities ready, he said.

Audan added that the hospital activated their poison control center which runs 24/7 with a doctor and at least three nurses.

Data from the poison control center showed that of the 35 patients, six were classified as pedia and the rest of the 29 were adults.

Audan said that chlorine inhalation is not to be taken lightly. There is no antidote to this and patients are treated by the symptoms. Eye burns, skin irritations, and respiratory distress are among the symptoms showed by the patients.

Most of the patients showed respiratory distress and they were relieved by the use of nebulizers.

Victims who succumb to chlorine inhalations are categorized to having mild, moderate, and severe conditions—none of which are to be taken lightly because patients could experience delayed effects on the body.

“We encourage them to come back,” Audan said, saying that patients should seek medical attention again should they feel any sort of discomfort, especially in breathing.

Chlorine, Audan said, is a toxic substance and is hazardous when ingested. He encouraged residents of the Sitio Licanan to be on guard, should they smell anything unusual and if they feel dizzy or nauseated. Workers within the area and in the facility, likewise, should wear personal protective equipment.

Audan said that they are unable to quantify the amount entailed by the medical services given to the patients.

Lasang barangay captain Allan Simuag said that liquid chlorine leaked from a cylinder found inside the building of Jedaric Chemical Corporation. The establishment is said to be given permit by the barangay as a storage facility but during an inspection, the same place was also used to repack chemicals. Simuag said that the wants the company to cover the medical expenses of the victims.

City Health Office OIC Dr. Josephine Villafuerte said they are still waiting for the owner to contact them.

“We also closed down their operations,” she said.

Thirty five people, including seven Task Force Davao personnel, were being treated at Southern Philippines Medical Center, Davao Medical School Foundation and Metro Davao Medical Research center.

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