DON’T RISK YOUR LIFE
Territorians urged to visit emergency departments despite COVID-19
PEOPLE are putting their lives at risk by putting off seeking emergency treatment at the Royal Darwin Hospital through fear of catching coronavirus.
There has been a 10 to 15 per cent fall in presentations to the RDH ED.
PEOPLE are putting their lives at risk by putting off seeking emergency treatment at the Royal Darwin Hospital through fear of catching the coronavirus.
There has been a 10 to 15 per cent drop in RDH Emergency Department presentations and the hospital said there had been cases where people held off attending despite needing urgent treatment.
RDH director of medical services Dr Keith Forrest has warned people not to put their lives at risk by not attending the Emergency Department when there were signs that they needed to.
“We have seen a couple of patients presenting with serious conditions who have held off attending … they have not wanted to come,” Dr Forrest said.
“They have been unsure about the safety and it is never good to come late when you have a serious condition.
“The normal flow of patient care and all the services are available and our staff are ready to treat people.
“We do know that some patients have expressed a concern about risk of COVID or have been alarmed by seeing staff wearing their normal use masks and gowns within the Emergency Department.
“We are seeing a definite drop-off, particularly in presentations to the Emergency Department. People are reluctant to come to the hospital because they think that there could be a risk of perhaps being exposed to COVID.
“People might be thinking that our hospitals are just like those they are seeing on the TV in Italy, Spain and New York. Our situation is very different.
“For the management of COVID patients we have a complete separation pathway and COVID patients in the hospital are managed in isolation wards in a separate part of the hospital from the general public access areas.
“So I can assure people visiting the hospital, particularly those to the Emergency Department, should they be sick or unwell or injured, that you will not encounter a person with COVID who is known to have COVID when you come in for routine medical care.”
Leo Baker and Cheryl Stephens have completed their 14 days in quarantine in Darwin after travelling