QEH says delays at Accident & Emergency Department for anything other than life-threatening conditions
Barbadians who show up at the Accident and Emergency Department (AED) seeking treatment for anything other than life-threatening conditions are being warned they will have to wait even longer to get attention.
Admitting that the AED has been under strain in recent days, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) has urged these individuals to seek medical care elsewhere.
In a statement issued on Tuesday evening, Communications Specialist with the QEH Shane Sealy disclosed that there has been a significant increase in patient flow into the department over the past two weeks, especially within the last 48 hours, and this has impacted the average waiting time for patients.
“Management is responding to the surge. Currently, about 50 patients are awaiting treatment, and the increasing numbers of people seeking care have placed severe strain on the AED’s capacity to meet patients’ demands in a timely manner,” he said.
“We are at this time advising members of the public that if your medical complaint is not life-threatening, there are options other than AED where you can receive the appropriate treatment.
“You can utilise the services of the polyclinic nearest you. After hours, please consider the 24-hour Winston Scott Polyclinic on Jemmotts Lane, St Michael or other private emergency care facilities,” Sealy added.
He further advised patients that they can seek medical assistance from their private doctor.
For the time being, priority will be given to people showing up at the QEH with life-threatening conditions.
“Life-threatening conditions under the AED’s triage system will continue to be seen and treated immediately, as they are considered high priority. These include patients who, for example, have life, limb or sight-threatening complaints, gunshot wounds, heart attacks, active seizure activity or a patient who needs resuscitation,” the QEH communications specialist advised.
“Other individuals who present to AED at this time will experience extended waiting times until this situation is rectified.”
Sealy promised the QEH would keep the public updated on the situation in the AED, and encouraged those who have questions about their health status to contact the Patient Advice Liaison Service (Help Desk) at 536-4800 using regular or WhatsApp calls from 9 a.m. to midnight.
“We apologise for any inconvenience as we work to reduce the extended waiting times and offer the best possible care and treatment in AED,” he added.