Chefs at Alexandra Hospital (AH) and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) have had to turn on a dime to re-invent their menus in order to better cater to COVID-19 patients under their care. The added symptoms brought on by COVID-19 such as anosmia and ageusia and wide variety of palates have required the chefs to use more fresh herbs and spices to enhance the flavour of food while adhering to nutritional guidelines. NTFGH was able to fast track its new menu offerings to cater to migrant workers from different nationalities, says executive chef Mr Choo Kok Seng. AH, which debuted an in-house food services team in August, supplements purchased meat and poultry with in-house sauces and desserts. Head of Food Services, Mr Sebastian Low and executive chef Mr Norman Leow want to change the perception that hospital food is bland, boring and tasteless and are working towards producing all patient meals in-house to ensure that taste and nutrition are not compromised.
Dedicated to the frontline healthcare workers battling Covid-19 pandemic, episode 3 of the One Metre Apart docuseries featured NUH’s longest staying patient, Mdm Choy Wai Chee, and her care team including Dr Ramanathan K.R. and Dr Winn Maung Maung Aye from the Department of Cardiac Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, NUHCS; and Dr See Kay Choong, Head and Senior Consultant from the Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, NUH. The documentary also featured A/Prof Zubair Amin, Head and Senior Consultant at the Department of Neonatology and Dr Maleena Suppiah, Senior Assistant Director, Clinical Education Office, NTFGH, who volunteered to provide medical care for the migrant workers at the dormitories under the care of NUHS. SSN Shelly Kia from the NUH isolation wards was featured as one of the frontliners, who spent many of her working hours caring for people who are suspected to have Covid-19.
Dr Chan Po Fun (Consultant, Cardiology, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital) provided expert comments in this collaborative piece on vertigo. She said that vertigo could point to different things for each person, such as a lack of sleep or serious conditions related to the heart or brain.
NTFGH pioneers Southeast Asia's first same-day discharge Lumbar Endoscopic Awake Discectomy Spine surgery (LEADS) protocol using the “endoscopic discectomy” technique which is an alternative to the traditional open surgery that requires general anaesthesia (GA), an inpatient stay, and results in a longer wound. This minimally-invasive surgery technique involves three important components: (1) moderate sedation and local anaesthesia (LA), (2) same-day discharge, and (3) a post-discharge telemedicine consult. Since wounds are closed with tissue glue, patients can avoid physical consults and the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and other nosocomial infections. Dr Wu Pang Hung (Consultant, Orthopaedic Surgery, NTFGH) and his team have completed six operations under this protocol during the circuit breaker period. All patients demonstrated improved disability and pain scores and could return to work swiftly. The LEADS surgery protocol using LA also reduces the risk from GA and allows for early post-operative recovery and mobility without significant effects on the central nervous system.
Head and Senior Consultant of Intensive Care Medicine at NTFGH, Dr Tan Chee Keat has created three box shields that offer added protection for healthcare workers performing high-risk aerosol-generating procedures on critically ill patients. Called Bio-aerosol Containment Units (BCU), the box shields are the result of a collaboration with Ngee Ann Polytechnic's Robotics Research and Innovation Centre. Two of the box shields are custom-built to fit ICU and transfer beds, allowing patients to be propped up for aerosol-generating procedures including non-invasive ventilation and high flow nasal cannula therapies.
Healthcare workers at NTFGH were presented with a board with messages of
gratitude from Singaporeans during the mobile column display on National Day.
Representing NTFGH and the NUHS to receive this board was Dr Lim Beng Leong
(Senior Consultant, Emergency Medicine, NTFGH). Dr Lim acknowledged that the
frontline workers consisted not just of healthcare workers but also security
personnel, the police, postal service workers who all bear a level of risk and
ought to be recognised. He said the tribute from Singaporeans was an added
encouragement and that without it, frontliners would still be hard at work.
Ms Siti Aisyah Samsudin (Service Team Leader, Specialist Outpatient
Clinics, NTFGH) said that witnessing the Red Lions’ parachute display in the
heartlands was a “whole new, exciting experience” and she felt incredibly
grateful that Singaporeans appreciated the efforts of those in healthcare. Her
wish for Singapore and Singaporeans is to “continue to stay safe and care for
one another in these trying times.”
Healthcare workers and other frontline staff were honoured for their
service to the nation during the COVID-19 outbreak,
at this year’s National Day celebrations. Siti Aisyah Samsudin (Service Team
Leader, Specialist Outpatient Clinics, NTFGH) was part of a group from NTFGH
that witnessed the Red Lions parachute display and said that this year’s NDP
was significant for her as she would get to witness the Red Lions segment up
close before heading home to enjoy the evening show with her daughter.
This year’s National Day celebrations brought a surprise twist for Mr
Foong See Chong who was admitted to NTFGH for dengue but managed to witness the
Red Lions parachute display from within the hospital. With him was Nellie Tan
(Assistant Nurse Clinician, NTFGH) who has had to work during the last few
National Days but was overjoyed that the celebrations had been brought to the
hospital in line with plans to bring the celebrations into the heartlands.
In this year’s National Day Parade, six F-15 fighter jets will perform a segment called the Roar of Unity and fly past eight hospitals including NUH, NTFGH, and AH to pay tribute to front-line and essential workers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Red Lions will land in heartland fields near NTFGH and Sengkang General Hospital on National Day this year as part of the NDP celebrations. The location for the landing near NTFGH is at Toh Guan Road.
Dr Wong Li Beng (Head of Division, Preventive Dentistry and Consultant, Dentistry, NTFGH) highlighted that the state of an individual’s oral health is an indicator of their overall health condition. Oral diseases pose a major health burden for many countries. In fact, untreated dental caries (tooth decay) in permanent teeth is the most common health condition according to the Global Burden of Disease 2017. More emphasis should be accorded to oral health conditions such as tooth decay and gum disease which have links to chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, even as public awareness and knowledge increases.
Ms Julia Law, a senior staff nurse at NTFGH, was interviewed in this
Nurses’ Day feature on her core values and what she loves about her job. She
says that often patients only need a listening ear and someone whom they can confide
in who is willing to support them, and encourages fellow nurses to give their
best when caring for their patients and “not be daunted by the challenges that
we may face at work.”
Healthcare workers will be receiving a special salute at this year's National Day Parade. Some of our staff got up close with the Red Lions members after their landing at the parade rehearsal.
Healthcare workers, including nurses and others on front line, will be receiving a special tribute at the coming National Day Parade for their dedication in fighting the pandemic.