Sat | Jul 21, 2018

Stress, hypertension top concerns at May Pen Hospital

Published:Wednesday | June 28, 2017 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
The May Pen Hospital in Clarendon.

Assessing whether or not the recent flood rains that affected Jamaica saw an increase in health-related issues at the May Pen Hospital in Clarendon, the senior medical officer (SMO) at the institution revealed that there was a more pressing issue.

Jamaica experienced prolonged rainfall less than a month ago, which resulted in severe flooding in some places. The parish of Clarendon was reported as being worst affected. The health ministry has since warned that persons take special care, as the flood rains can cause serious diseases, in addition to an increase in mosquito populations.

But Dr Bradley Edwards, SMO, noted that in recent times, the concern has been the number of persons who are coming in with hypertension and stress-related issues.

He said that is coupled with what he described as the "chronically overcrowded" hospital.

"I can't give any comment specifically to that (flood diseases), but what I do know is that we are chronically overcrowded, not necessarily because of the diseases related to that, it's mainly due to complications of hypertension, from what I have been told," he said.

"We just need to build some capacity as far as I am concerned. The people are coming in, mostly with hypertension and stress-related conditions," he continued.




He said that he was not able to give any specific details as to whether or not violent incidents in the parish were contributing to stress issues, but noted that it could not be discounted.

"We haven't got into the details of that (factors of stress), but it is a possibility. Somewhere in the subconscious, one would have some fears."

Edwards said urgent attention, coupled with collaboration, will be significant factors in improving services at the facility.

"It's more males coming in from what we have. We looked at some of the bed occupancy level and the bed occupancy for male is about 160 per cent, and for females, about 138 per cent on the medical ward. It's just way over what we can manage. We have Lionel Town and Chapelton hospitals that constantly want to refer patients to us because they can't manage them," he said.

"We need to recognise that Clarendon is the third-largest parish in terms of population, and so resources and attention are critical."