Emergency surgery improvements in NALHN

3 November 2016

Northern residents are benefiting from faster access to emergency orthopaedic trauma surgery following an expansion of the orthopaedic service at Lyell McEwin Hospital.

Since the expanded service was introduced in November 2015, the 24/7 emergency orthopaedic service has treated more local residents, with an increase of almost 40 per cent in patients from the north and north-east receiving emergency orthopaedic trauma surgery at NALHN.

Providing this important service locally means the majority of patients can now receive round-the-clock orthopaedic trauma surgery at Lyell McEwin Hospital, rather than being transferred to another hospital.

This is particularly important for patients requiring emergency surgery because delays have the potential to cause serious adverse outcomes.

Fairview Park resident Andrew Thornton said he was grateful for service changes under Transforming Health, including access to 24/7 emergency orthopaedic surgery.

Mr Thornton was involved in a serious water skiing accident in February 2016, which almost resulted in him losing a leg.

“I was taken to Lyell McEwin Hospital via ambulance because I broke my leg but I was also diagnosed with compartment syndrome, which could have killed off my leg completely,” Mr Thornton said.

“They started emergency surgery soon after my arrival and opened up my leg to release the pressure for the nerve.

“The staff and surgeons were amazing and if I hadn’t had that surgery within that short period of time, I wouldn’t have that leg today.”

In addition, there has been a 12 per cent increase in the amount of emergency surgeries performed within NALHN since March 2016 compared to previous years.

The increase in the amount of emergency surgeries being performed equates to more than 500 patients a year receiving emergency surgery within NALHN.