Patients on warfarin need a
regular blood test to check
how quickly their blood clots.
The warfarin dose is adjusted if
clotting falls outside the standard
measurement band known as
the international normalised
ratio (INR). The pharmacist-run
Anticoagulation Clinic, or ACC,
has a virtual component, where
patients can leave after their
blood test and have their INR
result reviewed over the phone
with a pharmacist a few days later.
Their warfarin is then sent to
their home via SGH’s Medication
Delivery Service (MDS).
Just five to 10, mostly younger,
patients used the virtual ACC each
week before, said Senior Principal
Clinical Pharmacist Kong Ming
Chai, who leads a pharmacy team
seeing about 100 patients a week
on the blood-thinning drug. Since
the COVID-19 crisis, the number
using the virtual ACC has gone up
by 50 to 90 a week, he said.
The Rheumatology Monitoring
Clinic, another pharmacistled
clinic, started offering
teleconsultations during the circuit
breaker period. Patients visit SGH
or SingHealth Polyclinics for their
blood tests and review the results
via the phone a few days later,
said Mr Lim Teong Guan, Senior
Principal Clinical Pharmacist.
Besides patients from these
clinics, those whose long-term
conditions are stable and have their
reviews postponed can opt for MDS.
With fewer patients visiting the
specialist outpatient clinics (SOCs)
at Block 3, the pharmacy next to
the row of SOCs was closed and
converted to a logistics centre for
According to Ms Nah Szu Chin,
Principal Pharmacist, demand for
MDS doubled during the circuit
breaker period from the usual
2,500 requests a month. Ms Nah, who is charge of the service, said
more staff were stationed at the
pharmacy, especially on Sundays,
to help process orders.
UV to decontaminate
Two cleaning machines using
UV-C, a short-wavelength,
ultraviolet light that breaks
apart germ DNA, have been at
SGH since end-2017. But with
the pandemic and more wards
used to isolate COVID-19
patients, four more machines
Dr Ling Moi Lin, Director
of Infection Prevention and
Epidemiology, had learnt of
the technology much earlier
on, but was unable to find a
distributor for the machines in
Singapore for five years. Although
regular hospital cleaning is
sufficient, UV-C is adept at
decontaminating and reducing
transmission of superbugs.
“Our staff seem to think
it’s a super machine that kills
all pathogens. While it is true
that UV-C kills all surface
microorganisms, we are mindful
that there is no single process
that can guarantee 100 per cent
pathogen eradication,” said
Dr Ling, noting that the automated
UV-C machines disinfect areas six
times faster than manual cleaning.
The sight of a Muslim migrant
worker praying without his
customary prayer mat moved
Senior Nurse Manager Suriana
Sanwasi so deeply that she
rallied her family, friends, and
colleagues for help. Digging
into their pockets, they bought
toiletries, towels, and snacks.
Before long, their efforts grew
multifold as contributions
poured in. In one instance,
50 families sent clothes, prayer
mats, toiletries, and towels
for the migrant workers. After
their nursing shifts, Ms Suriana
and her colleagues sorted and
packed the items.
Before transferring to
community facilities, migrant
workers need fresh clothes to
reduce the risk of transmitting the
virus, said Ms Suriana.
The heartwarming efforts of
Ms Suriana and her friends came
to the fore when Mr Amin Amrin,
Senior Parliamentary Secretary
for Health, posted their story on
his Facebook page.
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