DON’T RISK YOUR LIFE

Ter­ri­to­ri­ans urged to visit emer­gency de­part­ments de­spite COVID-19

Sunday Territorian - - FRONT PAGE - GARY SHIPWAY gary.shipway@news.com.au

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

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