48 patients with gunshot wounds being treated at Christchurch Hospital after firearms incident

Friday 15 March 2019Media release3 minutes to read

Canterbury DHB Chief Executive, David Meates

Canterbury DHB Chief Executive, David Meates

Please attribute comments to David Meates, Chief Executive, Canterbury District Health Board

Forty-eight patients, ranging from young children to adults with gunshot wounds are being treated at Christchurch Hospital. Injuries range from critical to minor.  Additional patients with gunshot wounds presented to other health facilities in the community.

Twelve operating theatres are currently in use and due to the nature of some of the injuries, many people will need multiple surgeries.  There is sufficient capacity and staff at Christchurch Hospital and the police cordon has been lifted from the site, so people who need emergency health care can now attend the Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department.

We have asked for some national services, which are usually provided in Christchurch, to be diverted to other centres e.g spinal cord injury service. We are grateful for the offers of support from other DHBs and from our staff who have offered to work longer shifts, with many volunteering to come in and help.

Around 200 family members are on site awaiting news of their loved ones. Together with police we are providing support to these people.

Unless it’s essential, we ask that people don’t come to visit patients Christchurch Hospital, as we are trying to reduce the numbers of people on the hospital site.

We have representatives from the mosque and the Muslim community with us, and interpreters to assist with communications.

Women due to give birth have been contacted by the maternity team to advise them they should go to one of our community maternity units unless they need hospital level care. Lead Maternity Carers and midwives have been informed of this.

Once we have provided for the medical needs of those injured, and the wellbeing of their families and whanau, we will be able to focus on the psychosocial wellbeing of our wider Canterbury community. 

We envisage we will see an increasing demand for wellbeing support over the coming days and weeks as the reality and enormity of what has happened in our city today sinks in.

If you want to know what has happened to a family member or you want to let people know where you are, the Red Cross have set up a website to help restore contact between people separated by the Christchurch Firearms Incident: https://familylinks.icrc.org/new-zealand/en/Pages/Home.aspx 

ENDS

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Page last updated: 21 March 2019

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