The Department of Health (DoH) said on Tuesday that some patients of “lambanog” poisoning at the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) in Quezon City had decided to go home in order to be with their families in time for Christmas.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that three patients have “absconded” while 11 patients discharged themselves against medical advice.
“Dahil siguro magpapasko they want to be with their families and they weren’t feeling that bad, so akala nila ay okay sila,” said Duque in a press briefing at EAMC.
The health chief said that the 11 patients, who “insisted that they be discharged against medical advice,” were advised to go a medical facility if they noticed symptoms.
“They have to be mindful of such an advisory and they themselves must go to the nearest health facility that can manage their condition,” said Duque.
Blurring of vision, abdominal pain, and chest pain are some of the symptoms that patients should watch out for, said Dr. John Paul Ner, medical specialist II of EAMC.
Duque said that the symptoms may manifest after three to five days after they ingested the lambanog.
“Generally, the range is about three to five days before the symptoms may appear. But again, I think that’s dose dependent,” he said.
Duque said that only three patients are still confined at the EAMC. Two of them are now in stable condition while the other one is still at the intensive care unit (ICU) “but also getting better,” he noted.
On Monday, the DoH said that it is conducting an investigation on the lambanog poisoning that occurred in Rizal, Laguna, saying that 265 individuals have reportedly fallen ill.
“FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulatory inspectors have been deployed to the Municipality of Rizal, Laguna to collect samples and investigate the alleged poisoning incident. DoH has assigned teams to the different health facilities where affected individuals were referred,” the health department said in a statement. (Analou De Vera)