STORM SPARKS RUSH TO ECHUCA HOS­PI­TAL

The Riverine Herald - - FRONT PAGE - By IVY WISE

WED­NES­DAY night’s stormy con­di­tions saw sev­eral peo­ple end up in Echuca hos­pi­tal with res­pi­ra­tory con­di­tions.

A Ton­gala man said his 11-year-old daugh­ter was one of many pa­tients at Echuca’s emer­gency depart­ment on Wed­nes­day night with what he be­lieved was thun­der­storm asthma.

The man, who did not wish to be named, said his daugh­ter, who is a chronic asth­matic, started feel­ing a tight­ness in her chest just after 6pm.

‘‘She said she wasn’t feel­ing right and she started to go pale,’’ he said.

After giv­ing her Ven­tolin, he drove her to the ED, where he was told his daugh­ter was ‘‘the third pa­tient in ve min­utes to come in with the same symp­toms’’.

‘‘In the next hour or so, more peo­ple started com­ing in with the same thing, one after the other with var­i­ous de­grees of sever­ity. I heard of at least six,’’ the man said.

‘‘The doc­tors were very busy and I don’t think there were any beds avail­able.’’

While his daugh­ter wasn’t con­sid­ered an emer­gency, nurses mon­i­tored her un­til she was even­tu­ally seen by a doc­tor about three hours later.

‘‘She was hooked up to the ma­chines,’’ he said.

‘‘If she hadn’t had her pre­ven­ta­tives and I didn’t take her to emer­gency, it might have been a dif­fer­ent story.’’

A Depart­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices spokesper­son said two pa­tients were treated in Echuca’s emer­gency depart­ment overnight Wed­nes­day for res­pi­ra­tory con­di­tions which were not re­lated to thun­der­storm asthma.

‘‘Both were ad­mit­ted overnight, but have since been dis­charged,’’ he said.

The spokesper­son said the depart­ment is­sued a mod­er­ate thun­der­storm asthma fore­cast for parts of Vic­to­ria at the week­end.

‘‘At the time, there were mod­er­ate level pollen counts, com­bined with se­vere thun­der­storm ac­tiv­ity in cen­tral, north­ern cen­tral and north­ern coun­try re­sult­ing in the mod­er­ate epi­demic thun­der­storm asthma fore­cast,’’ he said.

‘‘This was not a high fore­cast and no thun­der­storm asthma warn­ings were is­sued. It was for peo­ple to be pre­pared, not alarmed.

‘‘The depart­ment mon­i­tored the sit­u­a­tion closely.’’

A new world- rst alert sys­tem was re­cently launched in Vic­to­ria in a bid to pre­vent an­other thun­der­storm asthma disas­ter such as the one in Mel­bourne this year that killed nine peo­ple. The new $15 mil­lion sys­tem is sup­posed to give res­i­dents up to three days’ warn­ing of con­di­tions that could cause the deadly con­di­tion. A web­site and app pro­vides fore­casts, information and alerts about po­ten­tial thun­der­storm asthma con­di­tions.

She was hooked up to the ma­chines. If she hadn’t had her pre­ven­ta­tives and I didn’t take her to emer­gency, it might have been a dif­fer­ent story

PO­LICE are ap­peal­ing for help into a bur­glary and car theft in Echuca overnight Wed­nes­day.

Sergeant Neil Hod­son of Echuca po­lice said thieves broke into Com­mu­nity Liv­ing and Respite Ser­vice’s op shop in Percy St and stole a credit card and per­sonal pa­pers.

They then used the credit card to buy $350 worth of petrol and food from a fuel sta­tion and Echuca Mc­Don­ald’s be­tween 6am and 7am yes­ter­day.

‘‘We’re still look­ing for the of­fend­ers and are mak­ing in­quiries into this,’’ Sgt Hod­son said.

‘‘We’re also look­ing into CCTV from sur­round­ing shops.’’

Sgt Hod­son said a gold 2000 Com­modore, val­ued at about $2000, was also stolen from the back of the Echuca Back­pack­ers in High St be­tween 7pm Wed­nes­day and 7am yes­ter­day.

Thieves also tried un­suc­cess­fully to break into Evolve Ac­count­ing in An­struther St the same night.

‘‘They quite pos­si­bly may all be re­lated,’’ Sgt Hod­son said.

Any­one with information about any of these in­ci­dents is urged to con­tact po­lice on 5483 1500 or Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000.

PO­LICE are also in­ves­ti­gat­ing a cou­ple of bur­glar­ies in Echuca overnight Satur­day.

Thieves en­tered the back door of a house in Dar­ling St and stole a wal­let from the bench.

A shed was also bro­ken into at a prop­erty un­der con­struc­tion in Pak­en­ham St, and $1000 worth of tools were stolen.

De­tec­tive Sergeant Dar­ren Dean of Echuca Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Unit ap­pealed to any­one who may have seen any­thing sus­pi­cious that night to come for­ward.

Any­one with information is urged to con­tact Echuca po­lice on 5483 1500 or Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000.

' We’re also look­ing into CCTV from sur­round­ing shops. They (the crimes) quite ’ pos­si­bly may all be re­lated '

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