Emergency centre reopened after fire

2019-10-15 06:01
The Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital Emergency Centre has been reopened following a fire that destroyed the wing in February last year.

The Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital Emergency Centre has been reopened following a fire that destroyed the wing in February last year.

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The Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital has re-opened its emergency centre (EC) after it was destroyed by a devastating fire in February last year.

The hospital serves a population of 550 000 people from the broader Mitchell’s Plain and Philippi. To ensure continued service delivery, the hospital had to set up and provide emergency services in a temporary area with limited space in the hospital’s outpatients area.

During the reconstruction of the centre, changes were also made to improve the patient flow. The nurses’ station was moved closer to patient beds and all mental health patients will now go directly to the psychiatric ward for assessment and 72-hour observations. This decision allows more room to treat patients who require emergency care in the EC.

The emergency centre boasts separate sections for adult and paediatric emergency care and consists of four adult resuscitation beds, 13 adult beds for major injuries, a nebuliser area, and six paediatric beds with two separate waiting areas for adults and young children. The EC has 10 doctors and 42 nurses on day and night duty shifts respectively.

“Staff are relieved and excited to move back and provide services in their own space again. Working for the past 20 months in the temporary emergency centre was challenging due to the limited space, but we managed to provide the best possible care to all of our patients,” said Hans Human, chief executive officer of the hospital.

The hospital treats around 4 500 patients per month and see an average of 350 patients on busy weekends.

These cases include major to minor injuries such as adult medical strokes, heart attacks, pneumonia, adult trauma cases such as gunshot and stab wounds, motor vehicle accidents, adult surgeries from appendicitis to gastrointestinal bleeds, and all paediatric and adult emergencies.

Trained nurses assess patient’s illnesses according to the South African Triage System, which determines how serious a patient’s condition is and how quickly they need to be seen.

Patients are categorised according to the seriousness of their condition. The triage colour code ranges from red for serious, life-threatening conditions, to green, for non-urgent and non-life-threatening conditions.

Patients triaged in the hospital’s EC as a low priority patient (either green or yellow) may have a long wait before being attended to as patients triaged as red and orange are treated as a priority.

Therefore, they urge patients with non-urgent and non-life-threatening ailments and injuries to access healthcare at their nearest day clinic or consider attending the 24-hour Mitchell’s Plain Community Health Centre’s Emergency Centre (CHC) for further care and assistance. This will alleviate congestion at the district hospital and ensure all patients receive the most appropriate medical care for their condition. When accessing the Mitchell’s Plain CHC, all serious medical conditions will be assessed and referred to the Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital for further care and treatment as required.


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