By Johnnie Rosario
(Tumon, Guam) Lillian Perez-Posadas, Guam Memorial Hospital administrator, warned hospital staff in a memo Thursday of the possible exposure to a patient confirmed to have COVID-19.
Ms. Perez-Posadas wrote, "Equally important is my role and obligation to inform you of a recent incident that may have exposed some of you to the COVID-19 virus, especially those who were in direct and close contact with a COVID-19 patient."
The incident occurred on the third floor, in the Medical-Surgical Inpatient Adult Unit involving a patient who was not admitted at the time for COVID-19, but was discovered to have the virus following a radiological procedure. The patient was in a private room behind closed doors, according to the GMH administrator.
The patient was placed in an isolation room after the COVID-19 diagnosis, according to Theo Pangelinan, assistant to Ms. Perez-Posadas.
"This was not hospital acquired," Mr. Pangelinan said. The patient is a male in his 50s.
"As soon as we received the information, all appropriate isolation measures were instituted. Although we would have preferred to have the patient immediately placed in isolation, which is standard protocol for patients suspected of COVID-19 infection, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines state that if an isolation room is not available, a known COVID-19 patient can be placed in a private room with a closed door."
Ms. Perez-Posadas, a registered nurse with 30 years of hospital experience, sought to calm any fears and anxieties hospital staff may have about potential exposure to the virus. She asked all employees to contact the Employee Health Nurse and the Infection Control Nurse, "so that you can be processed accordingly."
She tells any employees who are not feeling well to stay home.