Ice users a drain on Gladstone Hospital resources

GLADSTONE Hospital emergency department head Augustus Kigotho says each time a person arrives at his department under the influence of ice, he can expect to have the most senior doctor and at least two nurses to look after the person.

"They are very aggressive, very labour intensive," he said.

"They usually come in with injuries - they have been in a scuffle or something like that.

"You can't expect junior staff to look after them because they are so aggressive.

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"They are a danger both to our staff and also to the other patients."

His comments come as Gladstone police reveal use of the drug ice is becoming an epidemic in the city.

Dr Kigotho said sometimes drug-affected patients needed full-time attention for four or five hours.

"In many instances they need to be paralysed to control the aggression - and for that they need to be flown to either Rockhampton or Brisbane - they are very expensive to care for."

He said many people who took ice developed life-long mental disorders.

Education from an early age was the only answer he could see to overcome the problem.



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