Christchurch Hospital ‘sordid’ wing upgraded to accommodate Covid-19 patients
A Christchurch hospital ward is being modernized to improve ventilation and allow another 32 Covid-19 patients to be treated safely.
The work, in the former acute medical assessment center at Parkside Hospital, is being managed by the Department of Health.
A Canterbury Board of Health bulletin reported that the ventilation in the unused ward was changed “so that air moves from the central staff area to the patient bed areas, making the staff areas larger. safe ”.
It comes as a senior clinician warns that if there is a community outbreak of Covid-19 in the region, hospitals could expect 100 people to be hospitalized for every 1,000 unvaccinated.
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In Christchurch, 44% of people are fully vaccinated and 80% have received at least one dose.
In Auckland, the epicenter of Delta’s current outbreak, around 10% of people with Covid-19 are hospitalized, said Michael Plank, a professor at the University of Canterbury.
Among those hospitalized, at least 20% need intensive care.
“Hospitalization rates in the Auckland epidemic were despite relatively high vaccination rates among older groups.”
Last month Thing reported that a $ 250 million plan to renovate the obsolete and earthquake-damaged hospital wing was downgraded at a lower cost – a figure health officials have refused to release.
Clinicians said patients in the Parkside wing of Christchurch Hospital faced third world conditions in cramped six-bed wards that increased the risk of infectious disease.
One board member called the wing “sordid”.
In the board of health bulletin, facilities and engineering manager Terry Walker said two large fans were installed outside the ward to “extract large amounts of air from the grilles above the headboards and pass it through HEPA filters to safely release it into the atmosphere.
The conversion will accommodate 32 beds with improved airflow, he said.
Rob Ojala, executive director of facilities, said Canterbury Board of Health and the Department of Health were working closely and urgently to convert the old room for Covid-19 readiness well ahead of the initial schedule.
In the event of a significant outbreak of cases, the improved service, named Parkside Ground Medical, will provide dedicated board of health space to treat Covid-19 positive patients, Ojala said.
“We expect work on the new space to be completed by the end of this month.”
The Acute Medical Assessment Unit (AMAU) moved to the new Waipapa building last year.
The space freed up at Christchurch Hospital has not been used since the move and is the space undergoing modernization.
The last time Covid-19 patients were treated at Christchurch Hospital was in January, when two people were transferred from Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) facilities.
Christchurch Hospital intensive care specialist and member of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, Geoff Shaw, said hospital staff on the South Island were very concerned that health services could be overwhelmed by Covid- 19.
Shaw suggested that for every 1,000 unvaccinated people infected with Covid-19, 100 could end up in hospital and 10 in intensive care.
Even if 100% of the eligible population were vaccinated, there would be around 700,000 children under the age of 12 “to spread the Covid in the community”.
Shaw said that in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, the impact of Covid-19 meant that around, for every five patients hospitalized with the disease, one was in intensive care.
He said the vaccination target should be “no less than 100 percent of the eligible population”.
This in turn would reduce access to valuable hospital services for people with cancer and other conditions.
“We know we’re going to catch Covid, and it’s going to be endemic, and it’s going to impact our health service.
“The question is, how do you deal with it? And that’s the silver lining.
“I think Covid gives us an opportunity to quickly improve the way we currently provide care. “