Emergency department lull as Victorians stay home
Emergency department presentations at The Alfred and Sandringham Hospital remain at their lowest levels in years as Victorians continue to adhere to the stage-three COVID-19 restrictions and stay home.
Director of Emergency Services at Alfred Health, A/Prof de Villiers Smit said while his team continued to care for those in need, it had been one of the quietest Easter periods in recent history.
“We’re seeing fewer people needing medical support across the board – with drops of more than 50 per cent in presentations for injuries following car and motorbike accidents, sporting injuries and drug and alcohol issues,” A/Prof Smit said.
Despite the reduction in road trauma, severely injured people continued to need care at The Alfred, and the team remained busy.
“While the numbers are lower than average, as many as five people each day are still receiving life-saving care for injuries sustained in car or motorcycle accidents.
“The number of people falling from ladders and other objects has also softened compared with other years, but we saw a little spike over the long-weekend as people took to DIY projects or cleaned their gutters.”
Emergency departments around the world are experiencing similar reductions in people coming for care unrelated to COVID-19, but A/Prof Smit urges those who need help to get it.
“As Australia's efforts to control COVID-19 continue, it’s understandable that people are coming to emergency departments in fewer numbers.
“We know some of the reduction in patients is because our community is doing less, but there are also some people who are actively staying away from hospitals and GPs right now.
“What is absolutely vital is that those who need urgent support continue to seek it, and we’re open and standing by.”