The OKEU Hospital, responding to complaints over patient care delays at its Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department, has been explaining the operational procedure.
The explanation came during a town hall meeting in Babonneau on Wednesday.
Dexter James, the Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Heights Medical Complex (MHMC), of which the OKEU Hospital is part, addressed the issue.
He disclosed that the A&E Department sees about 1,500 patients monthly and categorises them according to an Emergency Severity Index (ESI).
James used the example of several patients who entered the hospital as follows:
- A patient with runny nose at 9:30
- A patient with an upset stomach at 10:15
- A patient at 10:50 with an all-day excruciating headache whose primary care doctor advised her to go to the hospital
- At 11:30, a patient with an abdominal stab wound
- At noon, a motor vehicle accident patient
James said medical interventions would have been occurring in the A&E department when those patients arrived.
“So help me here. Which one you think should go first?” the MHMC CEO asked his audience.
After individuals gave various opinions, James explained that in the triage, the vehicle accident was life-threatening.
As a result, he said the vehicle accident victim would need immediate attention, followed by the stab wound patient whose profuse bleeding would also be deemed life-threatening.
Regarding the patient with the excruciating headache, James said the medical staff would not know whether the cause was intracranial bleeding or a stroke prelude.
He said the hospital would attend to that patient next.
However, regarding the patients with the runny nose and the upset stomach, James said they should not be at the A&E Department.
Nevertheless, he said that because they sought medical attention, the OKEU Hospital would have to attend to them.
“The upset stomach next and finally the runny nose who came in at 9:30,” the CEO explained.
“Now, observe what has happened, and this is where we run into a lot of problems,” he said.
According to James, the runny nose and upset stomach patients who came in earliest believe they should have received medical attention.
But he explained that those patients would have had to remain longer because their conditions were not life-threatening.
In this regard, James said people need to better understand the system.