Emergency Department has only 20 beds and sees 60 to 100 patients a day

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With just 20 beds in the Emergency Department (ED) and 60 to 100 patients each day—the head of the department at the National Referral Hospital admits that most times beds are not enough to cater for all the patients.

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Dr. Trina Sale is the head of the Emergency Department (ED) and in a press conference yesterday detailed the work her department is doing and the challenges regarding bed shortage at the NRH. Most pictures that surfaced on social media were from the Outpatient which comes under her portfolio.

Responding to questions from journalists on bedding capacity in her department, Dr Sale said the Emergency Department has 20 beds and sees between 60 to 100 patients every day.

“When a patient comes to the emergency, they are seen by an emergency doctor. They are sorted out, they are either seen and discharged or transferred for admittance. Ideally, a patient should not remain in the Emergency (ED) for more than 24 hours. There are 17 doctors working in the ED and they work on eight hours shifts. There are six different areas in the ED.

Dr Sale said depending on the nature of the sickness that a patient present to her officers on arrival they might undergo lab tests and x-rays.

She said whilst they wait for their results and further admittance into the hospital they are put on those 20 beds.

“Most times these beds are not enough to cater for the patients. So if a patient is admitted today but no space in the ward for him or her to be transferred then the patient has the bed for that day – when that happens the new patient is admitted to the ED without a bed,” she explained.

Meanwhile the management of the National Referral Hospital (NRH) and the Ministry of Health announced yesterday that immediate measures including the creation of additional bed spaces at the hospital with plans in place for 71 potential additional beds.

It has also announced that the NRH medical laboratory is now operating on 24 hours basis to enable the doctors to make the diagnosis early and make a plan for medical management of the patients. In that case, a patient can be discharged early, if fit to do so.

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