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Important Emergency Department info for summer

The summer holiday season is now upon us and Southern NSW Health District draws a large number of visitors and tourists to our spectacular countryside and beaches. With this in mind, the Health District would like to take this opportunity to explain what happens in our Emergency Departments.

When a patient presents to emergency, they are categorised – triaged – by the Triage Nurse, according to the severity of the injury or illness. The Triage Nurse is experienced in assessing your condition and ask you a number of questions to prioritise your care soon after your arrival and depending on the severity of your injury or illness may commence treatment immediately. The Triage Nurse allocates every patient a Triage category. There are five categories and every NSW Hospital uses. They are: Category 1 Any condition that needs immediate medical treatment eg cardiac arrest resuscitation, serious wound Category 2 Patients who need to have treatment within 10 minutes and are categorised as having imminent life-threatening illnesses, eg heart attack, stroke or difficulty in breathing Category 3 People who need to have treatment within 30 minutes, eg fractures, migraines or any condition that could potentially move to Category 2 Category 4 People who can wait at least an hour eg foreign bodies in eye Category 5 Patients with minor injuries that could be seen by their local doctor

Please think twice about coming to the Emergency Department if you could wait to be treated by a doctor. To find a GP in your area, please visit or call the GP Helpline on 1800 022 222. In case of an emergency, call NSW Ambulance on 000. Remember, there may be someone who has a life-threatening illness being treated as you wait.

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