PHA Confirms PMH Emergency Dept Staff Sit-Out

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The Public Hospitals Authority confirms that some physicians and nurses of the Princess Margaret Hospital Accident & Emergency Dept. (A & E) called in sick today, Tuesday August 04, 2020. Others walked out of the Department and gathered in the Hospital’s meditation area, effectively withdrawing their services. Key issues cited by the staff included dissatisfaction with the protocols for managing patients under investigation for COVID-19 infection, and the delayed turnaround time for the receipt of results for those patients held within the department. They voiced concerns that A & E is unsuitable for the management of potential positive cases as it, like most of the hospital, lacks negative pressure spaces to avoid airborne transmission.

They added that the risk of exposure to patients and staff is significant without the appropriate air flow system. PMH is adhering to the protocols for managing the COVID-19 patients that were developed by the clinical management team of A & E.

The Hospital remains severely challenged however due to the increasing number of suspected cases that present to A & E, which was not built for the type of care required for these patients. To avoid the overwhelming an already overflowing system, we are requiring the public to only utilize the emergency department for life-threatening conditions.

The public is strongly urged to utilize the COVID-19 prevention protocols before coming to the Hospital including:

  1. Call the COVID19 hotline if you suspect that you or someone you know has COVID19 symptoms or has been exposed to the virus and follow the instructions that you are given.
  2. If you are experiencing a medical emergency call 919 and advise the emergency medical dispatcher that you suspect COVID19 infection.
  3. If you are coming to the Emergency Department by private vehicle, please call the Emergency Department at 326-7014 before you arrive to allow the staff to prepare.

The Princess Margaret Hospital remains committed to ensuring the safety of our staff and patients during this COVID19 crisis.

Flexibility will be required to meet the evolving public health challenges presented by the pandemic in our health institutions and communities.
The public is reminded to follow the Ministry of Health’s guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These include:
▪ Wear a face mask when you leave home.
▪ Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of at least 70%.
▪ Cover your cough or sneeze in your inner elbow or with a tissue.
▪ Maintain social distance at work and in a public space and avoid large crowds.
▪ Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as phones, remote controls, counters, doorknobs, and keyboards.
The public is strongly urged to pay attention to all public health announcements, public service announcements and updates regarding health and hospital services during this time.

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