Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Little Christmas Cheer for Dedicated Medics

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Little Christmas Cheer for Dedicated Medics

Article excerpt

A FAMILY lays broken, bruised, scattered throughout a hospital ward.

Meanwhile, dedicated doctors work to save the life of a drunk who wiped the family out in yet another horror Christmas road smash.

They have no choice, they have to treat everyone as equals.

It isn't an advertisement for safe driving, it's what Coast men and women, Emergency Department staff, have to wrangle with every year.

Across the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, hundreds, if not thousands of people will present to emergency wards over the festive period.

Some will be middle-aged men suffering skateboarding mishaps, others with a bad case of Christmas leftover food poisoning.

But there are others who will go in and never come out. Like children suffering horrific injuries.

These are the ones that cause our doctors, nurses, wardsmen and admin staff heartache as they try to return to their families come shift's end.

"The ones we all take home are the paediatric ones, the kids, most of us have families at home and those are the ones you lose sleep over," Nambour General Hospital's young Emergency Department consultant Dr Barrie Field said.

When tragedy strikes on the Coast this Christmas, a crack team of trauma specialists will get the call, a special page going out to alert the team.

If they're on-call, it could mean simply rolling out of the hospital accommodation and heading into the ward. If not, it means dropping everything to try to save the lives of strangers, leaving their own loved ones for another few gruelling hours.

Holiday road accidents are some of the worst our specialists deal with, usually multi-vehicle, high-speed incidents that can devastate families.

Nambour General Hospital's director of emergency medicine Dr Michael Natale said: "When these big episodes are happening over and over again I think everyone takes it home a little bit and starts thinking about their family around this time of the year and the kids.

"And the traumatic injuries that kids have usually hits home.

"It causes a couple of sleepless nights for nursing staff as well as the doctors and the admin staff and wardsmen."

About 30 pagers went off last weekend, another sign that the typical pre-Christmas lull in Emergency Department presentations had not arrived this year, bad news for those preparing to work through the festive season. …

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