Boxing Day keeps emergency staff flat out
IT WAS chaos at the at the Gladstone Hospital on Boxing Day according to the head of the emergency department Doctor Augustus Kigotho. The emergency department was bombarded with patient presentations on the day after relatively quiet days on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Dr Kigotho said it was due to a number of late presentations. "Some people put off coming in on Christmas Day because they are with the family," he said. "Also, people are out of town on Christmas and come back on Boxing Day and present themselves to emergency."
Despite the high frequency of patients on Boxing Day the severity of presentations were worse on the two previous days.
On Christmas Eve 11 people were admitted to hospital and two were transferred to other hospitals while on Christmas Day five people were admitted with two transferred and on Boxing day five were admitted with one transferred.
Dr Kigotho said some patients go to the emergency department when they should have gone to their local practice.
"We have some coming in for very minor ailments," he said.
"Like sprains when a patient is able to walk.
"If you can't walk come to the hospital for X-rays but your GP can arrange X-rays for you."
In the eight weeks Dr Kigotho has been in Gladstone the emergency department has increased patients' clinical safety and the department's efficiency.
"My goal is to have Gladstone a centre of excellence in education and emergency care," he said.
"The statistics don't lie. We are seeing more patients and are having less unplanned returned patients."
He wanted to thank local practices for helping with the patients in the Christmas period.
"Two clinics that were not busy rang us and said they could take patients with minor ailments," he said.
"They should be congratulated for their initiative to treat patients."