Christchurch Hospital coping with pressure after multiple murders

Christchurch Hospital coping with pressure after multiple murders

David Meates

Christchurch, March 17, 2019

Christchurch Hospital RNZ Photo by Diego Opatowski

The Christchurch massacre on Friday, March 15, 2019 has left 50 people dead and many injured, who have been admitted to the Christchurch Hospital. There is growing concern about their status.

The following Statement was issued by David Meates, Chief Executive, Canterbury District Health Board earlier this evening.

We currently have 34 patients who were injured in the mosque attacks in Christchurch Hospital. Two were discharged late yesterday and we expect two more people will be well enough to go home later today.

Intensive Care Patients

There are currently 12 people in intensive care in a critical condition. We expect a small number of these people to be well enough to transfer to other wards later today.

There is also one four-year old girl in Starship Hospital in Auckland in a critical condition. She was transferred from Christchurch to Auckland on Saturday, March 16, 2019.

Yesterday, we treated and discharged nine new patients who were injured in the mosque attacks and presented at the Christchurch Hospital emergency department with injuries such embedded glass fragments, lacerations and back, knee and foot injuries.

Well-Staffed Hospital

Christchurch Hospital has good capacity at present and we are well staffed.

We are prioritising patients harmed in the mosque attacks for surgery over the coming days.

Today we are running seven acute theatres which is more than we would usually have operating on a Sunday – we would usually have three operating theatres running.

Many of these people need multiple surgeries due to the complex nature of their injuries, and the need to provide a number of shorter surgeries in a phased way so patients have the best chance of recovery.

This does mean that we are postponing some planned surgery for local people – and I thank them for their understanding.

Tomorrow, we are postponing 38 operations to accommodate the urgent surgery we need to carry out.

OPD going on

Outpatient appointments are going ahead as planned.

I want to stress the importance of looking after yourself and each other. 

Feeling on edge and upset right now is a completely normal reaction.

Disasters and big shocks take a toll on all of us, and coping is not always easy.

Spend time with people you love and talk about how you’re feeling.

Remember those vulnerable people in our community too – connect with neighbours, older people and those who live alone.  Be kind to one another – kindness is contagious.

If you want to talk to a trained counsellor, you can phone or text 1737 to be put through to a counsellor any time of the day or night. This is a free service for everyone.

 

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