The worst flu season on record led to a 25.5 per cent increase in patient numbers at the Mudgee District Hospital emergency department (ED) compared to the same time last year.
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The Bureau of Health Information (BHI) have released its Healthcare Quarterly report showing how public hospitals and ambulance services in NSW performed in July to September 2017.
Mudgee District Hospital saw 649 more emergency presentations during the period for a total of 3196, up from 2547, the highest bump in Western NSW Local Health District.
The largest increase was those categorised as triage four, “semi-urgent”, which jumped from 1261 last year to 1694 up by 433 people. Triage three, “urgent”, increased by 229 people from 593 to 822.
A spokesperson for Western NSW Local Health District, said, “Mudgee Health Service experienced a surge in emergency department presentations during the July-September 2017 period as we experienced the worst flu season on record”.
“There were 3,196 emergency presentations at Mudgee Health Service which is an increase of 25.5 per cent when compared to the same quarter last year and much higher than the NSW average of 9.4 per cent.
“Patients presenting with early onset of flu symptoms fell into Triage categories three (urgent) and four (semi-urgent) which is an increase of 69.4 per cent when compared to the same quarter last year.
“We thank our staff for their dedication and hard work to ensure patients continued to receive high quality and timely care even in the face of unprecedented demand on our services as we experienced this quarter.”
The BHI report shows that more than 720,000 patients presented to a NSW public hospital emergency department – the highest number ever recorded by BHI and 9.4 per cent higher than the same quarter last year.
BHI Acting Chief Executive, Dr Kim Sutherland, said the increase in emergency department activity was evident in hospitals throughout NSW, during one of the worst flu seasons the state has experienced in recent years.
“Winter is typically the busiest quarter for NSW public hospitals, but this winter season was particularly busy for emergency departments throughout the state,” Dr Sutherland said.
The second highest increase in ED presentations in the Western NSW LHD was at Forbes District Hospital (15.3 per cent), followed by; Bathurst Base Hospital (11.5); Orange Health Service (10.9); and Dubbo Base Hospital (8).
With only Cowra District Hospital experiences a decrease during the quarter of, down 4.6 per cent.
The flu season created a number of headaches – literally and figuratively – one with a knock-on effect was to blood donations.
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