TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The director of the National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) pled for help Wednesday (May 26) as his hospital was inundated with over 100 COVID-19 patients, exceeding the capacity of its intensive care unit (ICU).
NTUH Superintendent Wu Ming-shiang (吳明賢) took to Facebook to publish a post titled "Hospitals Need Help." He wrote that the facility has seen such a huge influx of coronavirus patients that its adult ICU has been filled to capacity, and the hospital has had to modify its pediatric ICU to treat adults.
Wu said ambulances continue to bring in more coronavirus patients, many of whom need intensive care and intubation. That evening, UDN cited Wu as saying that the hospital had admitted more than 100 coronavirus patients, including as many as 20 severe cases — the highest number of any hospital in the country.
Wu said it is taking time to convert the pediatric negative pressure ICUs, with many patients still waiting in the emergency room until the work is complete. "I really don't want a repeat of SARS," he said.
He urged the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) to included all hospitals in Taiwan in a plan to better cope with the influx of patients. Comparing the treatment of coronavirus patients to waging war, Wu stressed the importance of having adequate resources and said, "Medical staff can't care for the critically ill on the battlefield without adequate training."
Wu stressed that "as the frontline commander," he hopes the government will work out a solution as soon as possible and that "friendly forces can be honest, trust each other, and work together as one."
Alluding to recent budget cuts, Wu said resources and subsidies provided to hospitals "should not be discounted as much as last year." He then quoted Napoleon as saying "An army marches on its stomach," adding that "We can't let frontline doctors and nurses run out of ammunition."