Today, ABC News, published a story of a jump in Emergency Department (ED) visits as more Australians are waiting longer.

One night in June, Alice Moore noticed blood was “absolutely pouring” from her son Teddy’s mouth and nose. The day before, the three-year-old had surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids, therefore the bleeding was a potential medical emergency. Ms Moore drove Teddy straight to the ED at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Following triage, Ms Moore sat with her son in the crowded ED waiting room. “We sat in the waiting room for about four hours, they pretty much only saw us because I kicked up a fuss,” Ms Moore said. While they were waiting, Teddy “passed out” and couldn’t be woken, continuing to bleed from his nose and mouth. 

Australian EDs are seeing more patients than ever with an average of 6.4 million presentation to EDs in 2011-12 whereas last year, there were around 8.8 million presentations, which is an increase of 27%. Doctors and nurses in EDs are also seeing patients with more complicated needs therefore beds are filling up faster and staying full for longer, preventing new patients from being admitted, and forcing ambulances to “ramp” outside EDs, while paramedics look after patients in corridors.

The full story by ABC News can be found here: Big jump in emergency department visits as staff call for ‘outdated’ system fix.

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