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More critically ill patients presenting to emergency departments than ever before

7 February 2019

More patients requiring immediate or imminent life-saving care have presented to Metro South Health emergency departments this year than ever before, with significant increases in the most urgent care categories compared to 2017.

Emergency departments across Metro South Health, which includes the Princess Alexandra, Logan, QEII, Redland and Beaudesert Hospitals, treated 35 per cent more patients in Triage Category 1, those requiring immediate life-saving care, as well as 12 per cent more Triage Category 2 patients, those requiring imminent life-saving care.

Metro South Health Chief Executive Dr Stephen Ayre said the increase in acute presentations had a significant flow on effect on all hospital services.

“Critically ill or injured patients typically require more care and take longer to recover, with these figures highlighting the importance of efficient patient flow process to help ensure they receive timely and high-quality care,” Dr Ayre said.

“Our clinical teams deserve enormous credit for managing the growing demand and continuing to deliver exceptional healthcare.”

Dr Ayre said that, despite the increase in critically ill patients presenting to Metro South Health emergency departments in 2018, the total number of presentations increased only slightly when compared to the previous year.

“Thanks to a variety of factors, including a relatively weak flu season, fewer Triage Category 4 and 5 patients have presented to our emergency departments this year,” he said

“Fewer people presenting with less urgent illnesses helps ensure beds throughout the region are available for our sickest patients.”

Triage Category     | 2017      |  2018      | Change (%)

Category 1               | 2,632     |  3,562     | +35.33%

Category 2               | 50,231   |  56,284   | +12.05%

Category 3               | 129,350  | 132,091 | +2.12%

Category 4               | 73,099    |  64,460  | -11.82%

Category 5               | 9,215      | 8,828     | -4.20%

Total presentations| 264,527 | 265,225 | +.26%

(Source: QLD Health Emergency Data Collection / does not include Beaudesert Hospital)

Last updated 7 February 2019
Last reviewed 7 February 2019

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