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Earthquake Media Update 4 – Canterbury District Health Board

23 February 2011

Earthquake Media Update Four – Canterbury District Health Board

Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) chief executive David Meates praised the efforts of the entire health system that have risen to the challenges they’ve faced since the quake hit.

The Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department provided care for 220 major trauma patients over night. The hospital remains busy this morning but is coping well.

All Canterbury DHB Hospitals have sustained damage but are operating.

“The Emergency Department has been steady this morning and seeing fewer patients, but with more serious injuries as people are freed from piles of rubble and buildings in the city,” David Meates says.

“They’ve seen many patients with lacerations, crush injuries, fractures, spinal injuries and serious wounds as a result of the quake. The cardiology and maternity units are also busy.”

Damage to infrastructure has lead to problems with sewage and water supply. These issues are being managed by using bottled water and portaloos.

The water shortage has meant the hospital laundry service cannot operate and until water is reconnected hospitals are being conservative with their use of linen.

Doctors and nurses from around the country have volunteered to boost the number of frontline and support staff both in hospital and general practice services. Those wishing to volunteer should email their details to the National Health Coordination Centre – the email address is: nhep@moh.govt.nz and put “volunteer” in the subject line.

With schools closed many Canterbury DHB staff are at home caring for children and the Canterbury DHB will pay for child care costs incurred for staff who need it. Relief staff are being coordinated through the Ministry of Health’s National Health Coordination Centre.

Up to 40 stable patients were transferred to other hospitals in the Christchurch region overnight, freeing up Christchurch Hospital for the most seriously ill. A further 40 patients are likely to be transferred to other centres, including Ashburton and Timaru during the day.

We are currently making arrangements to transfer up to 45 home dialysis patients and their caregivers to Auckland. If you haven’t been spoken to by dialysis staff by 1pm today, please call 0800 881919 urgently.

Burwood Hospital, Hillmorton and Princess Margaret Hospital are all operating.

Four aged care facilities have been severely damaged and we are making plans to rehouse residents.

150 beds in the Riverside Block at Christchurch Hospital have been closed due to water damage and some structural issues. This has created some pressure on beds, however, transferring stable patients to other hospitals is helping free up beds for more seriously ill patients.

Phone Your Own Gp First

Many GP practices are open throughout the city and people should phone their own GP first – if your GP isn’t open the phone will divert to a nurse who will be able to advise you what to do and where to go.

People with mild to moderate injuries can also visit a medical centre. The 24 hour medical centre in Bealey Avenue is open today, as is the Moorhouse Medical Centre and the Riccarton clinic and after hours Centre.

Public Health Messages

Conserve water - Any water from taps should be boiled. If you boil water in a kettle, bring it to the boil twice. If you’re using a pot, bring it to the boil. If you don’t have electricity, three drops of household bleach in a litre of water will make it safe for drinking.

If your toilet flushes, flush it, but if it doesn’t don’t use your toilet.

Make sure that when you are inside, wear shoes, due to broken glass.

Meals on Wheels Not Available Today

Meals on wheels are not available today – if you have elderly neighbours or people who live alone, please check on them and help out if you can with meals and support.

Elective Surgery and Outpatients

All elective surgery and outpatient appointments are postponed for the next 48 hours. Paediatric clinics are closed for the rest of the week.

Birthing Units

Burwood and Lyndhurst birthing units are closed today.

Rangiora and Lincoln birthing units are open.

Christchurch Women’s Hospital is open.

Welfare Centres

Welfare centres have been set up at Hagley Park and Burnside High School.

Methadone Patients

If you are a methadone patient and your usual pharmacy is closed, phone the Community Alcohol and Drug Service (CADS) on 335 4350 and they will direct you to the nearest pharmacy.

ENDS


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