Medical social employee saves kidney affected person's life twice

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Mr Loh Ah Wan, 75, had by no means missed a session on the Nationwide Kidney Basis (NKF) dialysis centre in Tampines.

So when he didn’t flip up for a kidney dialysis session in June, a medical social employee (MSW), Miss Priscilla Ng, grew to become frightened and went to his flat.

When neighbours stated that they had not seen Mr Loh for 2 days, she alerted the police.

When Singapore Civil Defence Drive (SCDF) officers forcibly entered the flat, they discovered the retiree sprawled on the ground, unconscious.

If that they had received there any later, Mr Loh would have died. However because of Miss Ng, he was taken to a hospital and he recovered.

That was not the one time that she performed guardian angel to Mr Loh, who began dialysis two years in the past.

Medical social employee Priscilla Ng. Photograph: The New Paper

Two weeks after the incident, she once more went to his rescue after he fell and began bleeding badly.

The Eunos Crescent resident has end-stage renal failure, a coronary heart situation and hypertension, and goes for dialysis in Tampines 3 times per week.

Within the incident on June 14, when he failed to indicate up for his typical 4½-hour session, the centre’s nurses discovered that odd and alerted Miss Ng.

Miss Ng grew to become frightened when Mr Loh didn’t reply his landline or cell phone.


Miss Ng, 26, instructed The New Paper final week: “Generally, sufferers skip the session on goal. However in line with previous data, Mr Loh had by no means skipped any.

“I used to be frightened that one thing may need occurred to him, so I dropped the whole lot and went to test on him at his dwelling.”

She stated MSWs and nurses at dialysis centres pay nearer consideration to aged purchasers who stay alone and have a number of medical situations, reminiscent of Mr Loh, as a result of they’re thought-about high-risk.

“There isn’t any one searching for them around the clock, so we have a tendency to observe their attendance extra fastidiously.”

When Miss Ng and a colleague arrived at Mr Loh’s three-room flat at Eunos Crescent, they shouted for him to allow them to in and peeked via the home windows to see if he was dwelling.

A packet of meals was hanging on his gate, in order that they figured he couldn’t have gone far.

When his neighbours stated that they had not seen him in almost two days, Miss Ng and her colleague went to the close by neighbourhood police centre to make a report.

After the SCDF was alerted, it despatched an ambulance, two fireplace bikes and a Pink Rhino to the scene, and entered the flat by pressure, its spokesman instructed TNP.

Mr Loh, who was discovered unconscious on the bed room ground, was taken to Changi Common Hospital.

Miss Ng stated he had handed out from low blood sugar ranges and had minor accidents on the again of his head.

After he recovered, Miss Ng went to his rescue once more on June 28 after receiving a name from Mr Loh’s good friend, who stated he had fallen however refused to be taken to hospital.

“(His good friend) stated he had been bleeding for nearly an hour after hitting his head within the fall, so I known as for an ambulance and headed to his place,” she stated.

“In each situations, the paramedics instructed me that if we had discovered him any later, he may not have survived.”


The 2 incidents have introduced them nearer.

Mr Loh, who was shy and personal, now enjoys her firm they usually chat every time they meet on the dialysis centre.

When he met her final week, he clasped his arms in entrance of his chest in a gesture of appreciation to Miss Ng.

He instructed TNP in Mandarin: “If not for her, I would not be right here.

“I have been which means to deal with her to a meal to thank her, however she will not let me.”

Miss Ng stated: “He by no means actually opened up earlier than, however in any case this, he shares lots about his previous and the way he will get lonely as a result of he is estranged from his household.

“He even advises me to eat extra and deal with myself, similar to a grandfather would.”Her boss, NKF’s Allied Well being and Useful resource Improvement director Chua Wei Bin, stated: “Priscilla’s shut working relationship with the nurses enabled her to make a immediate go to to Mr Loh’s home when he missed his dialysis, which saved his life.

“I’m really impressed with the teamwork between Priscilla and the nurses.”

After near 4 years within the trade, Miss Ng has rediscovered her ardour for social work, after having made a distinction to Mr Loh’s well-being.

She stated: “That is the primary case the place I felt that I actually saved somebody’s life due to the work I do.

“It jogged my memory of the explanation I am right here, and helped me to see the significance of my job as a type of hope and assist to society.”

How MSWs assist sufferers

The Nationwide Kidney Basis (NKF) has 19 medical social employees (MSW). Moreover offering counselling and psycho-social help to NKF sufferers, MSWs additionally assist take care of their welfare.

They commonly go to and work together with dialysis sufferers at NKF’s 31 dialysis centres throughout Singapore, and supply varied types of help.

This contains serving to them evaluate their dialysis charges and interesting to the Housing Board for rental flats on behalf of sufferers.

MSWs additionally guarantee sufferers are in a position to get the mandatory help and help from the group by referring them to welfare programmes and group companions.

The director of NKF’s Allied Well being and Useful resource Improvement, Mr Chua Wei Bin, stated: “Kidney failure impacts not solely the sufferers but additionally their members of the family.

“MSWs play a crucial function in supporting sufferers and their households as they’re able to perceive the struggles the members of the family undergo.

“They’ll additionally tackle different points and elements that influence the sufferers, reminiscent of despair and the burden of managing their long-term therapy.”

Based on the NKF web site, there are about 6,000 dialysis sufferers right here, with diabetes and hypertension being the 2 main causes of kidney failure.

The NKF has three,986 dialysis sufferers and beneficiaries beneath its programmes and therapy initiatives.

Risks of low blood sugar ranges

Taking an excessive amount of diabetes treatment, skipping meals, and exercising greater than typical can result in low blood sugar ranges for sufferers with diabetes.

Nationwide Kidney Basis (NKF) senior dietitian Lim Cheau Horng stated low blood sugar ranges could cause sufferers to expertise dizziness, confusion, a racing pulse and weak point within the physique.

Dr Abel Soh, a marketing consultant endocrinologist from Abel Soh Diabetes, Thyroid and Endocrine Clinic at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, stated: “When blood sugar ranges drop too low, the affected person can grow to be disoriented, confused and even faint.

“If the particular person faints, they’ll hit their heads or damage themselves.

“When social help is poor, for instance, if the affected person lives alone, they grow to be high-risk since you by no means know when one thing harmful like this could occur.”


Dr Soh suggested kidney failure sufferers to see a physician in the event that they expertise low urge for food and really feel unwell.

He stated: “It is necessary that they take treatment and proceed their dialysis. Skipping meals may have an effect on their blood sugar ranges.

“In the event that they discover themselves with poor appetites or have any doubts, it could be greatest to see their physician and get their treatment ranges adjusted.

“In the event that they’re liable to low sugar ranges, it may also be helpful to maintain a couple of candies with them as that may assist, too.”

NKF’s Ms Lim additionally instructed that sufferers do common checks of their blood sugar ranges to assist maintain it within the goal vary and forestall it from dropping too low.

This text was first printed on September 28, 2016.
Get The New Paper for extra tales.


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Natalia Camp


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