UPDATE: Christchurch Hospital staff caring for 34 people injured in terror attack

Sunday 17 March 2019Media release3 minutes to read

Canterbury DHB Chief Executive David Meates briefs media on the status of patients injured in the terror attack

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

We currently have 34 patients who were injured in the mosque attacks in Christchurch Hospital.

Two were discharged late yesterday and we expect two more people will be well enough to go home later today.

There are currently 12 people in intensive care in a critical condition. We expect a small number of these people to be well enough to transfer to other wards later today.

There is also one 4 year old girl in Starship Hospital in Auckland in a critical condition. She was transferred from Christchurch to Auckland on Saturday 16 March.

Yesterday we treated and discharged 9 new patients who were injured in the mosque attacks and presented at the Christchurch Hospital emergency department with injuries such embedded glass fragments, lacerations and back, knee and foot injuries.

Christchurch Hospital has good capacity at present and we are well staffed.

We are prioritising patients harmed in the mosque attacks for surgery over the coming days.

Today we are running 7 acute theatres which is more than we would usually have operating on a Sunday – we would usually have 3 operating theatres running.

Many of these people need multiple surgeries due to the complex nature of their injuries, and the need to provide a number of shorter surgeries in a phased way so patients have the best chance of recovery.

This does mean that we are postponing some planned surgery for local people – and I thank them for their understanding. [Tomorrow we’re postponing 38 operations to accommodate the urgent surgery we need to carry out.]

Outpatient appointments are going ahead as planned.

I want to stress the importance of looking after yourself and each other.  Feeling on edge and upset right now is a completely normal reaction.

Disasters and big shocks take a toll on all of us, and coping is not always easy.

Spend time with people you love and talk about how you’re feeling.

Remember those vulnerable people in our community too – connect with neighbours, older people and those who live alone.  Be kind to one another – kindness is contagious.

If you want to talk to a trained counsellor, you can phone or text 1737 to be put through to a counsellor any time of the day or night. This is a free service for everyone.

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Page last updated: 18 March 2019

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