A Horrible Dog Bite and a Trip to the San Lazaro Hospital

It was a lazy Sunday morning. Hubby and I were still in bed but Bea was already outside having her breakfast. We suddenly heard shouts and crying coming from outside. Hubby went out to investigate then came back in our room with terrible news. Our friendly and cowardly pet dog bit Bea on the face! And there was blood. I felt my heart shoot up my throat then drop to my feet. I couldn’t move. I can handle a lot of things but I can’t handle blood. Thankfully, hubby stepped in and took care of it, making sure the wound was cleaned before I saw it.

When I finally came out of our room, I saw my Bea standing with a towel on her face. Afraid as I was, I looked at her wound. The blood has almost stopped but I could clearly see the shape of the dog’s teeth as it tore in her flesh. There was also a small wound on her lower eye lid and she can barely open her right eye. I hugged her tight, knowing that she must be so scared at that moment. The dog who has been a constant companion and playmate since her toddler days has betrayed her.

Bea and her dog bite wounds =(

I knew Bea had to get anti-rabies shots. Hubby and I rushed her to the emergency room of the nearest hospital but the nurses and doctor there wouldn’t accept us. They said that since Bea was bitten on the face, she was considered category C (animal bites from neck up) and only San Lazaro Hospital in Manila was authorized to receive and take care of such cases. I asked them if they could at least take a look at the wound but they said we had to rush there NOW, since the bite is near the brain. I felt the panic rise in my body once again.

Since it was a Sunday, it only took us thirty minutes from Marikina to San Lazaro. San Lazaro Hospital is found in Quiricada St., Sta. Cruz, Manila. It is a referral facility for Infectious/ Communicable Diseases. It is less than 10 minute-walk from the two nearest LRT stations along Avenida Rizal,(Bambang/Tayuman). For more detailed directions to San Lazaro Hospital click here.

San Lazaro Hospital usually won’t receive patients who were bitten or scratched by a dog or cat on Sundays except for emergency cases such as children below 2 years old or patients older than 60, people with disability and like Bea’s case, those considered category C.

Dog bite (1)
San Lazaro Hospital Triage

 We were received in the Triage area. Hubby was asked to pay the emergency room fee first (P50). Then we were asked to wait at the waiting section A, section B was assigned for those with cough (TB patients?) After a while we were interviewed by a newbie doctor who wasn’t even sure of the info she needed to ask from us. (She kept on asking her colleagues). Then we wait. After some time, a resident doctor finally looked at Bea. There were 3 doctors on that Sunday. We were given a ½ cardboard paper where our vaccine schedule was written. All these time, no one even bothered to tape up Bea’s wounds. We just kept on wiping the blood with tissues. Her eye was almost completely shut by this time also. Only after hubby shouted at one of the nurses did she cover Bea's wounds.

Dog bite (3)

Several looong lines and a lot of waiting, we finally got all the shots needed, and there were many! I was so proud of Bea, she was so brave! First we had the PVRV, the antirabies vaccine, given on each shoulder. Then the tetanus toxoid came next. The nurses also conducted a skin test, 2 pricks on Bea’s arm then we had to wait for another 30 minutes for the results. Next was 3 vials of ATS and last came the ERIG which was the most expensive medicine. They inject this on both cheeks of Bea’s butt. That emergency room trip cost us more or less P3,500. As a parting word, the doctor just said that we should also visit an ophthalmologist at the Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital nearby, another government hospital with loooong lines. Yes, this warning came from the doctor herself.

I laud the hospital’s staff, they seem to be professional except for neglecting Bea's wounds but I guess the sheer number of patients can get overwhelming.  They make do with whatever resources they have. Don’t look for sympathetic smiles or encouraging words though, I guess you go to private hospitals for that. They were all business there. Medicines were cheaper because they are subsidized by the government, however, be ready for long lines and impersonal personnel. Facilities were clean but incomplete. That Sunday, the emergency room had no electricity. Nurses who administered the meds kept on transferring from one side of the room to another, looking for brighter window light, so they can see their patients better. These are the guys who will stab the needle into your or your child’s arm. Waaah! Don’t forget to bring a facemask too, since this hospital also caters to other communicable diseases like tuberculosis, meningococcemia and others.

We were relieved when we were finally discharged. That trip to the San Lazaro Hospital was quite an experience.


Bea has finished her 3 shots scheduled a few days apart.

Dog bite (4)
Back in San Lazaro for Shot # 2

Dog bite (5)
Eye is much better, Shot # 3
   Her next one is scheduled next month. Her wounds are slowly healing. I hope scarring will be minimal. Doctors refused to stitch them up because they came from a dog bite. As a doctor said, “mag-make up na lang sya paglaki”. =(

1 comment:

Heart of Rachel said...

I'm sorry to hear about what happened to Bea. It must have been a really scary experience. But I'm glad to read about your update. It's good to see a smile on her face.

My nephew was also bitten by dog last December. He's finished with his shots. Last month, my godchild was also bitten by a dog. :(

I love dogs but I'm a little wary of other dogs. In our village, dog owners are required to put a leash on their dogs when they take their pets for a walk. Pero may matitigas pa din ang ulo! I don't hesitate to report them to the village office.

Anyway, hope Bea is doing much better now. Take care.

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