NCRHA: 48 people injured in Uriah Butler Highway crash
The North Central Regional Health Authority is confirming that 48 patients were transferred to its accident and emergency departments with varying injuries – some of which were life-threatening – following reports from first responders about the serious accident on the Uriah Butler Highway on Tuesday morning.
The Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) received 23 patients while 25 patients were carried to the Chaguanas District Hospital. There were seven critical patients who were immediately seen by doctors suffering from injuries to their head, neck and limbs. There were also patients complaining about chest and abdominal pains as a result of the accident.
The medical team in the emergency room at the EWMSC included two consultants, a registrar, eight house officers, 18 nursing staff and escorts from different departments in support of the effort.
According to the statement, all patients were seen by a doctor within minutes of their arrival to the emergency department. The critical patients were immediately seen by the team, while the other patients were either awaiting further tests, warded or discharged after examination and care.
Meanwhile, the Chaguanas team received three seriously injured patients. Two were seen by the emergency team in Chaguanas while one critical patient was transferred to the EWMSC for further attention. The other patients were seen by the medical team in Chaguanas and discharged.
The emergency team in Chaguanas included the clinical head of department, a registrar, three house officers together with supporting staff, five registered nurses, three ENAs and a house officer from the St Joseph Health Centre.
In response to the incident, the NCRHA said it activated its Mass Casualty Protocol in anticipation of multiple casualties from the accident. The protocol which is managed by the Incident Response Team (IRT) included requesting additional staff from other departments, clearing trolleys and beds in anticipation of the influx of patients and fast tracking existing patients to decongest the emergency room in preparation of mass casualties.
When asked about the NCRHA’s response, Chief Executive Officer, Davlin Thomas said “our intention is to save as many lives as we can. The Minister, our Board and the team of doctors, nurses, patient escorts and other support staff have been instrumental in the recent restructuring of the Emergency Department. This has made a big difference in our ability to respond in a crisis."
"The team did a good job today. Our team responded professionally to this mass casualty event, and it reflects the success of our ongoing training, deliberate planning and close collaboration from our multi-disciplinary team. The IRT was able to request additional resources and personnel for the emergency department, to ensure that our response was effective, thus enabling the trauma team to deliver timely and appropriate care to our patients,” he added.
NCRHA’s Chairman, Steve De Las, said the emergency team responded quickly to bring the situation under control as one of the authority’s doctors was actually at the accident site prioritizing patients for care. All 48 patients were triaged and examined by a doctor and were either warded, sent for additional tests or discharged within two hours of their arrival to the emergency department.