No one leaves the house thinking they might need to be airlifted to a trauma unit by helicopter, but accidents really do happen, and hospitals face horrific injuries every single day.
200 Victorians come to The Royal Melbourne Hospital’s Emergency Department each day, many with life-threatening injuries. There is no such thing as “Opening Hours” for ED, we’re always open – and with 74,000 patients needing urgent treatment every year, it isn’t slowing down.
As one of Victoria’s largest Emergency and Trauma Centres, The Royal Melbourne Hospital often handles a lot of the state’s major incidents, including when Thunderstorm Asthma occurred in November 2016. An additional 260 people needed treatment in a 12-hour period. No one could have predicted it – and our team was forced to think on their feet.
Dr Steven Pincus remembers what it was like the next day. “By the morning we had run out of what we call “spacers” that help administer Ventolin so I started making them out of coffee cups, sticky tape and cardboard tubing. They didn’t look pretty but they got the job done.”
These handmade “spacers” were made by quick-thinking staff and is just one example of how our team pulled through in the time that Victorians needed them most. If Thunderstorm Asthma taught us anything, it’s that we need to be ready for any emergency that comes our way, 24 hours a day.
We hope you never need to come to The Royal Melbourne Hospital’s Emergency Department, but you can take some comfort knowing we’re ready to face any incident that life can throw at us. We’re here for all Victorians.