The crisis known as ‘thunderstorm asthma’, which hit Melbourne’s metropolitan region on 21st November, caused the equivalent of a full day’s workload for emergency services in the space of just a few hours.
Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital was forced to set up a secondary emergency admissions unit in their day procedures area, and some private hospitals opened the doors of their own emergency departments to the general public. Victoria’s police and the metropolitan fire brigade were also called in to assist ambulance services who were utterly swamped by the 1870 emergency calls dialed between 6pm and 11pm that evening.
There have been countless reports detailing what actually occurred environmentally to lead to this disastrous event – a deadly combination of a high pollen count, northerly winds and humid conditions. However, what this event also makes us consider is the state of our nation’s emergency services, hospitals and disaster response teams to deal with unforeseen crises on a large scale.
Improving the performance of emergency departments to cope with an increasingly growing rate of presentations, whilst offering the highest quality of care, will be the focus of Criterion’s 2017 Balancing Performance with Quality in Emergency Departments conference. Hosted by Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, the program will showcase the following sessions:
- Increasing clinical capability with complex cases
- Reducing variability of practice in the ED
- Boosting rural & remote emergency care
- Improving safety & quality for children in EDs
- Overcoming artificial barriers and delays
- Utilising real-time data for clinical decision making
The two day conference is accredited by the Australian College for Emergency Medicine for 20 CPD points. Book your place by December 21st to save $200 on ticket prices.