Hospital exec ready to testify on Arroyo’s healthBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—A top official of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center said she was ready to testify at the Sandiganbayan on the health of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is under strict monitoring for a heart condition.
Dr. Nona Legaspi, VMMC hospital director, said she has yet not been approached by Arroyo’s lawyers about taking the witness stand.
“Yeah I’m willing [to testify]. All those are facts and I can show the medical documents,” she said in an interview.
The Sandiganbayan, which is hearing the plunder case against the Pampanga representative, ordered defense lawyers to present witnesses and evidence in support of their request for the former President to be detained at the VMMC for humanitarian and medical reasons.
On Friday, Arroyo was transferred to the ICU after an electrocardiograph showed that the patient was suffering from coronary ischemia or diminished blood flow to the heart.
Legaspi noted that the former President had been complaining of chest pains following her confinement a week ago.
She was initially admitted due to dehydration, pain and numbness, followed by findings of hypokalemia or low serum potassium levels in the blood.
As of now, doctors are assuming that the coronary ischemia is caused by a blockage though other tests such as 2D echo and stress 2D echo have to be conducted to find out the real cause.
Arroyo has been in the ICU since Friday afternoon, accompanied by a personal nurse, with policemen stationed outside, Legaspi said.
“We had to act with urgency because we might be overtaken by unforeseen events, and we don’t want that. Heart conditions should not be taken lightly,” she said, adding that the doctors preferred to err on the side of caution.
Arroyo’s ischemia may be caused by extreme stress and could lead to a heart attack if not addressed properly, Legaspi said.
Legaspi said doctors were monitoring Arroyo’s condition “round-the-clock” to see if Arroyo could attend her court date on Monday.