Having served as an isolation centre from January 3 to March 19, today the Blackman…
Barbados’ main isolation facility at Harrison Point, St Lucy has been the epicentre of this country’s COVID-19 fight for just under a year. With a capacity of 200 beds, the refurbished military base has so far housed hundreds of patients, some severely ill. For others, unfortunately, it was the place where they drew their last breath.
Despite many heart-rending stories emerging out of Harrison Point, Head of Infection Control and Infectious Disease Dr Corey Forde argues that quite a number of success stories go unreported as well.
During a recent media tour, Dr Forde revealed that over the last six weeks, doctors and nurses took their first two patients off of ventilators.
“Barbados took its second patient, a 15-year-old off of a ventilator who went into cardiac arrest and whose heart practically stopped,” Dr Forde revealed.
“We were able to revive her and get her back and within 72 hours, we were able to get her off of the ventilator and she is at home with her family. Those are the things we don’t talk about often.
“We talk about deaths, we talk about young people who have been ill, but one of the things we need to talk about are the numerous success stories behind the scenes,” Forde contended.
There is no escaping the ever-present threat of death posed by the ongoing pandemic. Thus far, the country has recorded almost 4 000 cases that included 41 deaths. But according to Dr Forde, the facility has of late been discharging scores of elderly and persons with underlying conditions, who are considered to be at the highest risk of severe illness and even death.
“We see all of those numbers going home, and who are among those numbers? Among those numbers are people who are old. Do you know over the last few weeks how many 90-year-olds we were able to get better and send home? That’s due to the work of the health professionals on the ground at all levels,” the disease control expert declared.
“From people in their nineties to people with multiple comorbidities and people who I believe, to be frankly honest, in other countries would not be walking about today. It speaks well to the type of medical care that is provided, the support from the hospital system, the support from the Ministry of Health, the support from the Government of Barbados, in allowing us not just to get vaccines, but to get the types of medications that are being used globally,” Dr Forde added.
The specialist explained that within the last nine months or so, the facility, with assistance from government and the private sector, has acquired more advanced medical equipment than any centre on the island.
In fact, Dr Forde revealed that COVID-19 positive visitors from as far away as Europe remarked that the quality of the care and medicine at Harrison Point would not have been offered in their home countries.
“I think we need to take the word isolation out of the facility to call it Barbados’ COVID management facility because it is top class,” he concluded.