'Resus' facility praised

Waitaki District Health Services clinical director Dr Pragati Gautama at Oamaru Hospital's...
Waitaki District Health Services clinical director Dr Pragati Gautama at Oamaru Hospital's resuscitation room, which is used to stabilise patients for transfers. Photo: Daniel Birchfield
A new resuscitation room recently established at Oamaru Hospital will not only be used to prepare patients for transfer in critical situations, but also help train staff how to best handle multiple emergency scenarios.

The room at the hospital's emergency department, next to the ambulance bay, came about after Waitaki District Health Services clinical director Dr Pragati Gautama, emergency department staff and St John rural Otago territory manager James Stewart combined their knowledge to come up with an efficient, effective and practical solution to prepare patients for emergency transfer, primarily to Dunedin Hospital, via helicopter.

Patients in critical condition can be quickly brought in from an ambulance to receive their first form of treatment or be stabilised for transfer, and the room includes equipment such as a defibrillator, oxygen supplies, a video
laryngoscope, IV access fluids, drugs and a ventilator.

Mr Stewart said the room's set-up was similar to what could be found in rescue helicopters and ambulances.

''If the hospital has similar equipment and set-up in a dedicated resuscitation room, it's a really smooth way to stabilise and transfer the patients.''

Together, Dr Gautama and Mr Stewart have organised training sessions to ensure ambulance officers and emergency department staff are able to combine their expertise as effectively as possible when stabilising patients.

Dr Gautama said the resuscitation room was the ideal setting for that.

''We need the input of ambulance officers to deliver the best treatment for the patient. In an acute situation the information paramedics deliver to the team at the hospital can be crucial, such as how did the accident scene look, or how long did it take to rescue the patients out of a car wreck, for example. Now we have the dedicated space to treat the patient and hand over this crucial information.''

The room had already been used to prepare an acutely unwell patient for transfer to Dunedin, which resulted in what she described as a ''seamless handover'' praised by the paramedics who travelled in the ambulance to assist.

''It's great feedback and confirms that the new dedicated resus room is already working brilliantly. To get this calibre of feedback for Oamaru is outstanding and a genuine tribute to the hospital team involved in the patients' care, as well as the new facilities.''

The room is part of reconfiguration of services at the hospital identified in a Waitaki District Health Services ''proposal for change'', obtained by the Otago Daily Times last week.


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