Ambulances were lined up outside the hospital around 8 p.m. last night, with the paramedics union tweeting a photo saying six vehicles hit at one point, causing some children to wait more than an hour.
Doctors have described the situation as “shocking” and say children should not be held outside of the emergency room as they can worsen quickly.
Concerned clinicians called the doctors’ union to inspect the crowded emergency room and report to SafeWork SA and hospital management.
The President of the Australian Medical Association, Dr. Michelle Atchison said: In every day It is “a new development in the worsening of the ramps in South Australia” that children are now parking outside the ED.
The health authorities previously insisted that there be no ramps in the women’s and children’s hospital, although doctors have reported isolated cases of vehicles waiting outside.
What happens more often with WCH is the “internal ramp” where paramedics wait with patients in the emergency room.
“It absolutely adds to our concerns about how the hospital system is doing right now, and suggests this is happening not just in adult acute hospitals, but now in the women’s and children’s clinics as well,” Atchison said.
“The medical problem is that children get sick very quickly and can get worse very quickly.
“So the fact that they are not in the hospital itself is a very worrying development in the current administration of the women’s and children’s hospital.
“They will be the COVID center for children. If they cannot cope with the health stress they are currently facing, how are they supposed to be able to treat sick children with COVID? “
Atchison said, “We jumped too early in opening the borders and COVID will be with us soon”.
“The AMA has very serious concerns about how the hospital system is going to handle this,” she said.
This photo was taken this evening at 8 p.m. in the women’s and children’s hospital with 6 ambulances. Children shouldn’t be rammed – tonight some had to ramps for over an hour. Our children are injured and our clinicians suffer from burnout. #TimeToCare #stoppramps #saparli https://t.co/furaBKCOMi pic.twitter.com/qd8vaEuu9x
– Ambulance Employees Association (SA) (@ aeasa1981) November 23, 2021
Josh Karpowicz, industry representative for the Ambulance Employees Association, said In every day Children were booted up for more than an hour last night, with the worst waiting hour of an hour and ten minutes for a psychiatric patient.
He said it was “extremely rare” for external ramps to appear at the World Cup and it was the worst thing he had ever seen.
“What is worrying is that we are now seeing children being robbed because of the extreme pressure on our health network,” he said.
“Children should not be rammed – it is inappropriate.
“Paramedics do their best, but they are not trained as pediatric nurses or doctors.
“Our concern is that we are extremely unprepared for COVID and one of our biggest concerns is that children under the age of 12 cannot be vaccinated yet.”
Bernadette Mulholland, SA Salried Medical Officers Association’s chief industrial officer, was “appalled” by the overcrowding she saw in the emergency room last night when called for an inspection.
She said there were 70 patients in the emergency room at the peak between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., 30 of whom were still waiting to be seen.
“I just felt sick,” she says.
“I saw anxious doctors, I saw anxious families waiting to get the care they need.”
Doctors had asked for ambulances to be rerouted to other hospitals, but Mulholland said “this was refused by hospital administrators because they could see … all other hospitals were congested too”.
She said that all hospital emergency rooms had been over capacity for the second consecutive night at “Code White” while the SA ambulance had again called an “OPSTAT Red” event, signaling that the demand was affecting the paramedics To offer “safe” services.
Mulholland said the next time she was called in for an inspection about overcrowding, she would ask Prime Minister Steven Marshall and Health Secretary Stephen Wade to attend “so they can see for themselves how bad it is”.
She said the doctors were “really concerned about the level of preparation for COVID”.
“If this is the situation that we see in our hospitals now … and we continue to see these numbers plus COVID-positive patient numbers in this particular emergency room, then we are facing a really tough trot and it will inevitably end in crises sooner.” later if it is not addressed, ”she said.
Opposition leader Peter Malinauskas said the situation was “just terrifying”.
“No child should be forced to ram in front of a hospital for more than an hour,” he said.
“If we can’t have a health system that looks after our children, then something is terribly wrong.
“There is no excuse for that.”
In a statement, a spokesman for the Women’s and Children’s Health Network said the hospital was “busier than usual last night, with a significant number of pediatric (ambulance) presentations received in a very short time.”
“Additional staff, including doctors, have been hired to support the late and night shifts to improve patient flow through the PED (Pediatric Emergency Department),” the spokesman said.
The hospital said of the 33 children who were rushed into the ambulance, only one patient was seen “ten minutes past the clinically reasonable schedule.”
“Children and parents in non-life-threatening situations may be advised to use the virtual child and youth care service to avoid hospital and get medical advice at home,” the spokesman said.
“This service is staffed by highly qualified emergency pediatric nurses and doctors who will examine the child and provide advice or referrals to an appropriate service for ongoing care.”
Premier Steven Marshall told reporters this afternoon, “Any extension or delay of the service is unacceptable and we must work on it, but that is exactly what we are doing with a very significant increase in South Australian health funds and bed capacity.”
He denied concerns that SA was not ready for a COVID outbreak and said the projected number of patients to be hospitalized was “absolutely tiny”.
A state government spokesman said: “We have seen encouraging improvements in hospital pressures over the past few weeks, but we will continue to see demand spurts from time to time.”
“Labor is determined to undermine the state’s public health response at every opportunity, but we are continuing our COVID-enabled plan to keep the community and our economy safe for the coming months,” the spokesman said.
“The response of the liberal Marshall government to this pandemic has been the envy of the world.
“Just as our state has been served well throughout the pandemic by listening to expert health advice, South Australians can be assured that the state’s health system is COVID-ready.”
The spokesman said the government’s $ 123 million COVID-Ready plan includes opening nearly 400 beds.
“We’re hiring up to 1920 health workers to ensure that South Australians get the care they need, when they need it,” the spokesman said.
“At the women’s and children’s hospital, families benefit from the establishment of the virtual child and youth care service.
“The service has cared for 670 patients, the vast majority of whom did not have to be presented to the emergency room.”
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