Five A&E departments across Glasgow and Clyde recorded their busiest ever day yesterday with one hospital seeing a 40% increase in attendances.
Almost 2000 emergency patients were seen in one day alone – a 20% rise in the previous highest recorded daily figure.
Emergency medical teams were today praised for their heroic efforts in coping with the unprecedented increase brought about by the big freeze.
And as A&Es prepare for two or three more days of arctic weather, one leading consultant today issued an appeal for people to take every care in the treacherous icy conditions.
Dr Alistair Ireland, Clinical Director for A&E Services, said: “The vast majority of injures we saw yesterday were broken wrists, ankles, elbows and legs etc however there were some very serious consequences…in fact we have two patients in ITU with serious head injuries after taking a slip on ice. Car accidents due to the icy conditions have also brought a big increase in patients to A&E.”
Robert Calderwood, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Acute Division Chief Operating Officer, said: “It is a massive testament to the ability and professionalism of our entire clinical teams, from porters to consultants, who pulled out all the stops to ensure that the vast majority of patients were seen, treated and either admitted or discharged within the four hour guarantee.”
Yesterday was also the busiest day since regular reporting began for surgical emergency admissions.
Mr Calderwood added: “It must also not be forgotten that our orthopaedic and surgical teams also have gone the extra mile to carry out the necessary operations and treat those patients who needed to be admitted.
“At this time of immense pressure I would like to urge the public to please only come to A&E when it is appropriate. Many common winter ailments, such as colds and flu, can be treated without going to your local hospital or GPs as pharmacists often provide the best help. By avoiding unnecessary hospital attendances wherever possible we can deal more effectively with those who do require hospital treatment.”
Notes for Editors
There are eight A&E Departments in NHSGGC along with one minor injuries unit. On Tuesday, five of the departments recorded their busiest days since regular activity reporting began. In addition a sixth department equalled its busiest ever day.
The departments at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and Victoria Infirmary each became the first A&E departments in NHSGGC to treat more than 300 patients in a single day.
In terms of activity, the departments saw a combined total of 1906 patients yesterday. The previous highest figure was 1583 patients and yesterday’s activity represented a 20% increase on the previous highest figure.
The average number of A&E patients seen in NHSGGC per day is 1226. Yesterday’s activity level was 55% above this average.
Yesterday was also the busiest day since regular reporting began for surgical emergency admissions. These admissions include orthopaedic injuries resulting from slips, trips and falls. There were 135 emergency surgical admissions at the 5 Glasgow adult sites yesterday which is a 75% increase on the average figure of 77 emergency surgical admissions per day.
Despite the extraordinarily high levels of activity, the NHS Board managed to discharge 96.4% of all patients yesterday within the target figure of under four hours between registration and discharge from the department.
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