THERE has been a significant increase in the number of patients on the verge of death arriving at Orange hospital’s emergency department for treatment.
This category rose by 53 per cent compared to the same period last year, while the number of patients arriving in a life threatening condition increased by 22 per cent.
The figures were released as part of Bureau of Health Information performance profile statistics from the April to June quarter.
Director of Medical Services Dr Louise Messara said the increase in both categories formed part of the 27,000 patients who presented to the emergency department in the past 12 months, making it a major trauma referral centre for the region.
Dr Messara said the high level of immediate intervention by emergency department and other clinical staff at the hospital sometimes meant longer waiting times for non-urgent cases.
“Our emergency department is an exceptionally busy department of the hospital,” she said.
“These two categories ... patients require a high level of care and resources.”
In the quarter from April to June, 6996 patients presented to the emergency department for treatment, which was 613 more than the Bathurst hospital and 198 less than the Dubbo hospital.
Dr Messara said the latest statistics were a timely reminder for residents about seeing a general practitioner for minor ailments rather than turning up to be treated at the emergency department.
“The emergency department is for serious injuries and illnesses,” she said.
Of the patients presenting at Orange hospital’s emergency department between April and June, 1395 arrived by ambulance.