Busy times at Portland District Health

Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Portland District Health has recorded one of its busiest summers for several years, with the number of discharges during January being particularly hectic.

There were 363 discharges for the month, a massive 84% increase on the 197 from the same time last year.

Chief Executive John O’Neill said it was the busiest January for six years.

“It is a reflection of our recruitment campaign to bring new doctors and surgeons to Portland, along with the wonderful support of our nursing and allied health teams and the continuing regular attendances of about 30 visiting specialists” he said.

The hospital’s A & E Department has also been helping more people over the holiday period; from cuts and bruises, a fish hook embedded in a hand, snake bites, the department saw it all.

Along with sporting related accidents such as a bump on the head from a jet ski and cuts from broken glass, there was a noticeable increase in the number of snake bite presentations.

A & E Department nursing unit manager Dennyel Smith said two people suffering from snake bite envenomation (in which venom was actually injected as a result of the bite) were successfully transferred to larger hospitals for specialist treatment.  In both cases tiger snakes were the culprit.

Four other people presented at the hospital due to strikes from snakes.

Dennyel said there had been a particularly big increase in category five presentations.

“These are basically GP-type incidents involving tourists.  Because they don’t have access to their regular GP, they come to the hospital” Ms Smith said, and those presentations were about 30% higher than average for January.

In general, after business hours are the busiest time for the department, and warm weather luring people outside to take part in recreational activities tended to result in more injuries.

Christmas and the New Year are generally the busiest periods for the A & E Department.  During the week around New Year there were 192 general presentations; for the first week of December there were 92.

STORY BY Portland Observer

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