Update: PRC served more than 3,000 people both in Metro Manila and Tacloban during papal visit

January 20, 2015 6:34 am 

By Lady Marie Dela Torre & Leilani S. Junio

MANILA, Jan. 19 (PNA) — The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) said Monday afternoon that a total of 3,306 people were assisted by trained PRC personnel and volunteers during the Eucharistic Masses and other events of visiting Pope Francis both in Manila and Tacloban City in Leyte.

In an updated report from PRC’s Operations Center as of 2 p.m. of Jan. 19, PRC said the services given ranged from blood pressure checking, minor and major medical emergencies, patient transport to hospitals via ambulances, and giving welfare support.

The minor cases included dizziness, hyperventilation, nose bleeding, abrasions, burns, fever, wound, body pain, and sore throat.

The major emergency cases ranged from difficulty of breathing, hypotension, hypertension, chest pain, possible fracture, asthma, hypothermia, burn, heart attack, and epilepsy attack.

The stand-by staffs and volunteers of PRC helped in transporting through ambulances to nearby hospitals and Emergency Field Hospitals (EFHs) those who complained of difficulty of breathing, asthma attack, body stiffness, vomiting, and injuries resulting from falling from high structures.

Aside from assisting people needing emergency health and medical care, PRC assisted a total of 499 people who needed “welfare” help that ranged from stress debriefing, guidance and counseling, contact of relatives of missing persons, and referral.

To sum up, in and around the area of Quirino Grandstand in Manila's Rizal Park alone, where the Pope held a Eucharistic Mass last Sunday, the PRC Operations Center recorded a total of 2,018 people who were attended to by Red Cross staff and volunteers.

An estimated six million people were reported to have participated in the papal Mass.

Of the 2,018 people taken to various health and first aid stations, as well as emergency field hospitals in and around the Quirino Grandstand, 753 patients had their blood pressure checked, 580 involved minor emergency cases, 169 suffered major medical emergencies, 36 were transported by ambulances to nearby hospitals, and 480 people had asked for welfare support.

At the PRC's Emergency Field Hospital (EFH) in the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) complex in Pasay City, a mentally ill person was transported to a mental institution in New Manila, Quezon City.

Another patient was revived at another EFH after reportedly losing consciousness and signs of heartbeat.

PRC Chairman Richard Gordon lauded everyone who made the Red Cross Papal Visit operation a success.

“Congratulations to our hardworking and selfless volunteers for a job well done! The coordination between the Philippine Red Cross, the police force, and other groups is also commendable. I am so proud to work with all of you,” Gordon said.

He also expressed his gratitude to the selfless volunteers who dedicated their time and services during the papal visit.

“Thank you to our dedicated and reliable volunteers. These people are not paid, yet they have given so much of their time and made tremendous sacrifices for suffering humanity,” he said.

Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang also expressed her gratefulness to Red Cross staff and volunteers.

“I want to thank all the Red Cross volunteers and staff who dedicated their time and effort throughout the papal visit. You have shown great love for humanity and our beloved Pope with your sacrifice and hard work. May the spirit of volunteerism continue to flow within us in the coming weeks and months,” Pang said.

Both Gordon and Pang were on hand to assist patients and the Red Cross team during the Papal Mass at the Quirino Grandstand Sunday.

PRC operations were actively participated in by the following Red Cross chapters which mobilized their volunteers and dedicated their time for the papal visit: Quezon City, Pasay, Manila, Caloocan, Valenzuela, Rizal, Las Pinas, Malabon, Marikina, Olongapo, Bulacan, Tarlac, Batangas, Cavite, and Laguna.

For the entire papal visit, the PRC put up six Emergency Field Hospitals, first aid stations in various strategic locations, and deployed 40 ambulances, eight Humvees, three 10-wheeler trucks, two water tankers, two fire trucks, four plastic boats, several units of radios, and satellite phones.

During such operations, EFHs attend to patients who have been transported from first aid stations and are prepared to attend to the management of patients in case of a mass casualty incident.

A team of volunteer doctors and nurses attend to and monitor all patients from first aid stations, stabilize patients for intubation, trauma, initial management of fracture, suturing, administering of IV fluids and medicines, and referral of patients to higher level of care.

First Aid Stations, on the other hand, handle patient assessments on vital signs, treatment of minor and major cases, and referral to ambulance for transport of patients to emergency field hospitals or partner hospitals.

First aid stations come with a welfare desk that provides assistance on tracing and restoring family links, and psycho-social support.

Both first aid stations and EFHs come equipped with a drinking station to provide safe, clean drinking water for the patient/s. (PNA)



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