MEDIA RELEASE

20 January 2021

Life Fourways Hospital emergency unit remains open and operational

Life Fourways Hospital would like to reassure the local community that our emergency unit remains open and operational to receive all patients.

The fear of the risk of COVID-19 exposure or infection should not prevent people from seeking emergency medical attention. If possible, call ahead to advise the emergency unit of your arrival or call our Emergency Medical Service Paramedics on 0860 123 367.

“All patients coming to the emergency unit will be screened and triaged on arrival. Due to the increase in patients visiting the emergency unit, additional treating and respiratory assessment areas have been set up. We encourage patients seeking general medical advice or routine medical assessments to consult with their local GP first”, said Carey MacColl, Hospital Manager, Life Fourways Hospital.

What to expect when you are treated in the emergency unit

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
    • All staff wear full PPE. Patients may find this daunting, however the safety of our frontline staff and patients remains a priority.
  • Triaging
    • Patients are triaged as green, orange or red by a trained nurse as per international best practice.
    • Triaging involves the clinical assessment of a patient’s condition to determine severity. Doctors then prioritise the treatment of patients based on the severity.
      o Green triaged patients (less severe), may have a longer waiting time before being attended to by the emergency medicine doctor.

Limited Resources

  • Strain on Resources
    • The increase in COVID-19 admissions has placed an enormous strain on our resources. Hospitals nationally are under pressure; human resources and equipment are finite, and there are constraints on the numbers of patients that can be cared for within our facilities.
  • Hospital Capacity and Temporary Capacity Divert (TCD)
    • As capacity fluctuates due to continuous changes at any point within a 24-hour period, the standard practice in all government and private hospitals is to place a facility on Temporary Capacity Divert (TCD) if the necessary resources are not available.
    • Should a patient arrive at the hospital during a TCD the patient will still be triaged.
    • Patients with serious or life-threatening illnesses or injuries will be stabilised and if no bed is available, will be transferred to the nearest facility that has capacity and can provide the best care required for the patient’s condition.
    • Patients who present mild illnesses or injuries will be referred to an alternative facility for treatment and admission.

What to expect if you are admitted into hospital during this time

Routine admission

  • Planned Admission
    • A COVID-19 test is required 72 hours prior to a planned procedure. For any unplanned admissions, patients will be admitted into Ward A, where a COVID-19 test will be conducted (a routine test on admission).
    • Upon results, patients are moved to the general ward or green (non-COVID) area of the hospital.
  • Unplanned Admission
    • Should a patient require emergency life-saving surgery in the absence of a COVID test result, surgery will be performed in our dedicated COVID-19 theatre.

COVID-19 admission

  • Designated COVID areas
    • Infected COVID-19 patients are admitted to one of three COVID-19 areas, depending on the level of care required; a general COVID 19 ward admission; COVID-19 HICU and COVID-19 ICU.
    • These areas are highly restricted areas within the hospital and are staffed by our caring nurses and dedicated Physician Teams.
  • Family Updates
    • Families are requested to appoint one contact person to receive updates on their loved one’s condition. This assists in reducing the administrative burden on our clinical teams.
    • Due to the high demands on our clinical teams, we kindly ask family’s to be understanding and patient as updates may not be as frequent as you would like them to be. We understand that there is much anxiety about the wellbeing of admitted family member’s and re-assure the community that our priority remains in providing the best quality patient care to our patients.
  • Visitation
    • As part of our safety measures, there is currently no visitation permitted, except under exceptional circumstances and as agreed with the treating Physician and Management Team.

Visiting a specialist Doctor for an appointment

  • Specialist Appointments
    • These are permitted with screening taking place at the front entrance of the hospital.
    • Some specialists may require patients to have a negative COVID-19 result before consultation. Please contact the specialist’s rooms directly prior to your appointment to find out what their COVID-19 procedures are.
  • Compulsory Safety Measures
    • The hospital requires that all individuals entering our facility adhere to the proper wearing of face masks (covering the nose and mouth), hand sanitising and practicing social distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Members of the public should continue consulting their general practitioners for any illness as early intervention can reduce the risk of more serious complications. The same is applicable for any person who requires emergency medical assistance as early diagnosis and quick treatment can significantly improve their chances of recovery”, concluded MacColl.

Ends

For further information contact:

Tanya Jenneker

Marketing Manager
Life Fourways Hospital
[email protected]

011 875 1342

Tanya Bennets
Group Communications Manager
Life Healthcare Group
[email protected]

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