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Accident and Emergency Deparment

Accident and Emergency

Anyone needing emergency or urgent care can present themselves to the AED. No appointment or referral is necessary.

The AED is always available to patients who feel that they have a problem that cannot wait for an appointment with their primary care physician.

Here’s a list of items you should bring to the AED:

  • Letter from your GP if you have been referred by them
  • List of current medications
  • Information about any previous medical conditions or your medical history
  • A list of allergies you have to any medications
  • CDs/reports of any scans relevant to your current problem

It is not always predictable when it will be busy but the department is available 24 hours a day for patients who require immediate care.

Patients with a minor injury may be eligible to be seen in our Minor Cases Unit or referred to Fast Track at the Winston Scott Polyclinic

Having a letter from your General Practitioner (GP) will certainly help us to provide you with the most appropriate care. However you will still need to be reviewed by a medical professional when you arrive, who will assign you within a triage category. This clinical assessment at triage determines the order in which you will be seen.

No. All patients will be seen by a medical professional, who will assign a triage category. This clinical assessment determines the order in which patients are seen.

The AED’s health care team consists mainly of doctors and nurses who are specially trained to treat all types of medical emergencies.

The AED physicians are trained specialists. If you have a concern about the care you receive, you should discuss it with the nurse and physician attending to you.

Quality care takes time. Your total length of stay may depend on your symptoms, illness, and if you have to be admitted to the hospital. In the event that the emergency physician needs to consult with a specialist or you require special tests and diagnostics, your stay may be longer.

To accurately diagnose your condition, we need time to review lab tests and x-rays. Some tests can only be processed after an extended period of time has passed after taking the samples.

AED patients are seen by physicians with training or experience in the specialty of emergency medicine. They obtain consultations as needed and if necessary, will refer you to a specialist based on the assessment of your problem.

A family member may wait with you in the treatment area and must stay at your bedside. If the AED becomes full or if a doctor or nurse determines that you need privacy, your family may be asked to return to the waiting area.

In consideration of our critically ill patients, no child aged 12 or younger may visit a patient without prior permission from the charge nurse. You can ask to see the charge nurse to make this request.

Based on your diagnosis you will either be discharged or admitted to the hospital. All patients discharged from the AED receive written instructions, ranging from medical instructions, referrals to an outpatient clinic and appointments to return to the AED for a follow-up visit. If you do not understand the instructions or have any questions about them, please ask for clarification.

We encourage patients to stay in touch with relatives directly to keep them updated as phoning the AED can distract nurses and doctors from providing care to the patients. If this is not possible, we ask that you nominate one member of the family to act as a liaison with the AED. Please note that in the interest of respecting patient confidentiality we are unfortunately only able to give very limited information over the telephone.

All feedback should be directed to:

By Mail :

Clinical Risk Management Unit
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Martindale’s Road
St. Michael

Tel: (246) 436-6450 Ext 5234, 5248, 5249

Email: feedback@qeh.gov.bb

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Emergency Ambulance Services

Emergency Ambulance Services

To report a medical emergency dial 5-1-1

When you call a dispatcher will ask a series of questions about the patient. These questions will help us to gather information for expediting care upon arrival and include:

  • The patient’s illness/injury/complaint
  • How many people require our services
  • The patient’s location with emphasis placed on road name, nearest road junction/landmark, house name, colour and number
  • The telephone number from which you are calling and your name.

Please stay calm, speak clearly, and stay on the telephone until you are instructed to hang up.

Calls are prioritized according to seriousness. We assure you that an ambulance will be en route to you as soon as possible. In fact, an ambulance may be en route before the telephone call is concluded. However, before the ambulance can be dispatched we need to know what kind of personnel and equipment to send in order to best serve you. Our dispatcher may also be able to give you instructions on how to assist the patient until we arrive.

Sirens and flashing lights are warning signals that mean we are going to an emergency or returning to the hospital with an emergency. We need a clear path to the hospital as the patient onboard is very ill. Be alert, pull your vehicle to the left and stop as the ambulance goes by. This gives the patient a better chance of arriving at the hospital and obtaining critical care sooner.

All Emergency Ambulance Service vehicles will transport you to the Accident and Emergency Department (AED) of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Minors are defined as those individuals who are less than eighteen (18) years of age. All these patients need to be accompanied by an adult older than eighteen (18) years for them to be transported. In extreme emergencies, where delays in treating the patient’s condition may lead to life-threatening problems, we will treat and transfer the patient to the AED.

Relatives/ Guardians should be contacted and quickly make their way to the AED as consent for further treatment will need to be given to the doctors in the department.

No. All patients will be seen by a medical professional, who will assign a triage category. This clinical assessment determines the order in which patients are seen.

All ambulance crews usually consist of two people who are either Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), trained in Assessment, Stabilization and Resuscitation Techniques or Paramedics who are trained in Advanced Resuscitative and Pre-hospital Techniques along with administering life-saving drugs. Both EMTs and Paramedics are experienced and capable of delivering a high quality service which helps to preserve and save lives daily.

Each ambulance is staffed by two crew members and is equipped to carry one ill patient who can lie comfortably on the stretcher. On the trip to the hospital, one of the crew will sit in the back to ensure that the patient is fine. Each ambulance also has room for one additional passenger in the back so one relative or friend is allowed to ride along. We encourage other concerned persons to make their way to the AED by alternate transport.

All ambulances are equipped with lifesaving resuscitative equipment and oxygen. Some also carry other advanced equipment such as cardiac monitors and drugs.

All Emergency Ambulance Service personnel function in conjunction with the trained emergency physicians in the Accident and Emergency Department. The EMTs/Paramedics are always in radio contact with these physicians should they require advice and direction.

All feedback should be directed to:

By Mail :

Clinical Risk Management Unit
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Martindale’s Road
St. Michael

Tel: (246) 436-6450 Ext 5234, 5248, 5249

Email: feedback@qeh.gov.bb

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Patients

Patients

Check that you have packed:

  • Your admission letter, and any other information we may have sent you.
  • Medicines or inhalers that you are taking at the moment
  • Money in case you wish to buy a newspaper or other incidentals
  • The name, address and telephone number of your GP
  • Nightclothes and a dressing gown
  • Slippers
  • Day clothes – a tracksuit or other comfortable clothes
  • Glasses or contact lenses (if you have both, please bring glasses as well as contact lenses)
  • Hearing aid
  • Mobility aids you use, such as a walking stick or walking frame
  • A brush and/or comb
  • Shaving equipment
  • A toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Soap and shampoo
  • Sanitary products, such as sanitary napkins or tampons
  • A towel and flannel
  • Other toiletries
  • Items of religious importance to you.

You may also want to bring:

  • Books and magazines
  • Notepad and pens

Please do not bring:

  • Jewellery or other valuables
  • Large bags or suitcases as storage space is limited
  • Alcohol.
  • Phones and tablet computers.

You can bring your phone laptop or tablet computer, and we do provide access to free WiFi. However, this is at your own risk – although we do our best to offer you privacy on the ward, hospitals are public buildings and we cannot accept liability for lost or stolen property. We also ask you to use such devices on the ward discreetly, so that you do not disturb other patients.

Do not bring valuables such as jewellery or large sums of money into hospital. Although we will do our best to offer you privacy on the ward, hospitals are public buildings and we cannot accept liability for lost or stolen property or money. If you must bring valuables with you, then they should be handed to a nurse when you arrive so we can arrange for safekeeping and return them to you when you are ready to leave hospital.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital provides free hospital treatment to citizens and permanent residents of Barbados. If you are not a citizen or a permanent resident of Barbados, you may be required to pay for your hospital treatment. The Board of Management of the QEH has a statutory obligation to identify patients who are not entitled to free treatment and to charge them for the treatment they receive.

We will always provide treatment that is immediately necessary or urgent but we reserve the right not to provide treatment that, in the opinion of a clinician, is not immediately necessary or urgent. To establish your eligibility you may be asked questions about your residential status. This can apply to any patient regardless of nationality or if you’ve paid taxes in the past.

To help us check if you are entitled to free healthcare, you will need to bring the following documents for proof of identity:

  • Barbados National Identification Card
  • Barbados Passport
  • Residence permit issued by the Barbados Immigration Department

Your treatment team is led by a consultant and comprises a Senior Registrar, Senior House Officer and a House Officer. If you do not know the name of the members of your medical team, or the Consultant heading your medical team, please ask a nurse on duty.

You should tell them anything you think is relevant to your care. They need to know how you’re feeling, and how that changes from day to day. They need to know your medical history, your family’s medical history, your current prescriptions, and any allergies. They need to know how you react to the medications and treatments you receive. Finally, please share your anxieties and concerns, so that they can play a positive role in helping you deal with them. Remember, your voice is the most important one on the team.

Confirming your identity is a safety precaution. Anyone providing you with medical care such as an IV drip or prescription medication, must verify your identity to ensure that the right patient is receiving the appropriate care. Redundant sources of information like name, date of birth, and wristband, reduce the potential for errors. The first step toward keeping you safe is for each treatment team member to consistently confirm your identity.

Always ask your treatment team members if you have any questions or concerns about your medications. To practice safe medication protocol from the beginning of your visit, provide your team with an accurate list of your medications and their dosages. Equally important is providing them with feedback on how any new medications make you feel once you begin taking them. Drugs can have different effects on different people, and sometimes adjustments in dosage, frequency, or the medicine itself are required to achieve the best results.

Drug names can be long and difficult to pronounce, but the good news is that you don’t have to be a Pharmacist to accurately keep track of your medications. Keep an updated list of your prescriptions, with dosages, frequencies, side effects, and your reasons for taking them. Carry the list with you, especially when seeing a doctor or another medical provider.

No. Prescriptions issued at the QEH cannot be filled in the polyclinics. However, in special circumstances where the Pharmacy needs to be closed for an extended period of time, arrangements would be made for hospital prescriptions to be filled at the Polyclinics for the duration and the public would be duly informed.

No. Prescriptions issued in the polyclinic cannot be filled in the QEH Pharmacy.

This is another safety precaution. Your nurses ask you about using the bathroom as a way of preventing falls. If a nurse is present, he or she can assist you in getting back and forth. Using the restroom while alone is riskier, even for patients who are normally steady on their feet. Certain medications, for example, have a side effect of dizziness, and walking normally can take time after certain procedures.

Falls are a leading source of hospital injury, and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital does not want you to fall. The best way to avoid a fall is to call for assistance from a member of your treatment team whenever you need to get out of bed or move from one location to another. Wearing sensible shoes or non-slip socks is also a good idea. Of course, the risk of falling does not end at the hospital.

While at the QEH, all the usual rules about personal hygiene apply, and then some. Frequent hand washing and dressing changes are important. Urinary catheter drainage bags should be kept below hip level. Also, if you have relatives at home who are not feeling well, discourage them from visiting you until they are over their illness. If you see a treatment team member or family member not following good hygiene guidelines, please speak up.

Patients are isolated to prevent the spread of disease to other people in the medical environment. Isolated persons are typically either highly contagious or infected by a treatment-resistant organism. Isolated persons may also be those who are immunosuppressed. Medical personnel visit isolated patients regularly and wear additional protection such as gowns and gloves. Patients are isolated to prevent the spread of disease to other people in the medical environment. Isolated persons are typically either highly contagious or infected by a treatment-resistant organism. Isolated persons may also be those who are immunosuppressed. Medical personnel visit isolated patients regularly and wear additional protection such as gowns and gloves.

To ensure patient safety during surgery, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital follows the World Health Organization’s “Surgical Safety Checklist.” The checklist applies safeguards at three points during the surgical process – prior to anesthesia, prior to incision, and prior to leaving the operating room. This involves a minimum of one nurse, the anesthesiologist, and the surgeon. Safeguards include confirming the patient’s identity, marking the surgical site when appropriate, verifying technologies and medications, identifying allergies, counting surgical tools before closure, and addressing post-surgical treatment needs.

Yes, visiting hours for all units of the hospital are:

  • Medical and Surgical Wards:
    12:00 P.M. – 1:00 P.M.
    4:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
  • Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU):
    11:00 A.M – 11:30 A.M;
    4:00 P.M. – 4:30 P.M;
    5:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
  • Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU):
    11:00 A.M – 11:30 A.M;
    4:00 P.M. – 4:30 P.M;
    5:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
  • Recovery Room:
    11:00 A.M – 11:30 A.M;
    4:00 P.M. – 4:30 P.M;
    5:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
  • High Dependency Unit (HDU):
    12:00 P.M. – 1:00 P.M
    4:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M

Up to two visitors are allowed per patient at any one time. This is to ensure that our patients get the rest they need and other patients are not disturbed. However, if there is an infection on the ward, we may restrict this to one visitor per patient.

Our Hospital Chaplain supports people of all faiths, as well as people who do not have a particular religious belief, but who would like to be counselled. Ask a member of staff to call the Hospital Chaplain if you wish to speak with someone.

Our spiritual care and chaplaincy service offers you 24-hour spiritual, religious and cultural care. Additionally, Ministers of religion and Pastoral visitors are permitted to speak to patients at any time.

There are many ways you can keep in contact with your relatives and friends such as calling your friends or relatives directly, writing a letter, or sending an email.

The type of accommodation you receive depends on the availability of rooms and your clinical presentation. We have single rooms with an ensuite bathroom and shared rooms with a shared bathroom. If sharing, you will share a bathroom with someone of the same gender.

The cost of a private room is BDS $525.00 per day.

Our wards do not have laundry facilities for patients, so we ask you to send your personal washing home with relatives or friends.

Patients, visitors and staff are not allowed to smoke anywhere on the hospital grounds.

All feedback should be directed to:

By Mail :

Clinical Risk Management Unit
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Martindale’s Road
St. Michael

Tel: (246) 436-6450 Ext 5234, 5248, 5249

Email: feedback@qeh.gov.bb

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Visitors

Visitors

We encourage patients to stay in touch with relatives directly to keep them updated as phoning the ward can distract nurses and doctors from providing care to the patients. If this is not possible we ask that you nominate one member of the family to act as a liaison with the ward. In the interest of respecting patient confidentiality, we are unfortunately only able to give very limited information over the telephone.

Yes, visiting hours for all units of the hospital are:

  • Medical and Surgical Wards:
    12:00 P.M. – 1:00 P.M
    4:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
  • Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU):
    11:00 A.M – 11:30 A.M;
    4:00 P.M. – 4:30 P.M;
    5:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
  • Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU):
    11:00 A.M – 11:30 A.M;
    4:00 P.M. – 4:30 P.M;
    5:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
  • Recovery Room:
    11:00 A.M – 11:30 A.M;
    4:00 P.M. – 4:30 P.M;
    5:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
  • High Dependency Unit (HDU):
    12:00 P.M. – 1:00 P.M
    4:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M

If you are unable to visit your relative during regular visiting hours please speak with the charge nurse on the Ward as a special provision may be made to facilitate your visit.

The patients in the ICUs, Recovery Room and HDU are very ill. We need to ensure that these patients get the rest they need, and other patients are not disturbed. Research shows that limiting the visitation hours in these areas will allow patients to get more rest and to recover more quickly.

Up to two visitors are allowed per patient at any one time. This is to ensure that our patients get the rest they need and other patients are not disturbed. However, if there is an infection on the ward, we may restrict this to one visitor per patient.

We understand that you may want to find out how your friend or relative is doing. There are many ways you can keep in contact, such as calling the ward, calling your friend or relative directly or writing a letter.

To be a strong advocate, you must be knowledgeable about your loved one’s needs and willing to speak up on his or her behalf. At the QEH, we encourage you to broach sensitive topics and address your questions and concerns with members of the treatment team. Your voice is incredibly important to us.

All feedback should be directed to:

By Mail :

Clinical Risk Management Unit
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Martindale’s Road
St. Michael

Tel: (246) 436-6450 Ext 5234, 5248, 5249

Email: feedback@qeh.gov.bb

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Donating Blood

Donating Blood

Blood is a precious natural resource each of us has in our bodies. The average size man has about 12 pints; an average size woman about 9 pints. Transfusion of blood and blood components is the most successful human transplant done today.

When blood is needed to save human lives, human beings must donate it! Unfortunately only 3% of eligible persons actually donate blood, so your donation is important. It is estimated that more than 60% of our population will require a transfusion during their lifetime. Approximately 40 units of blood must be collected daily to meet the needs of patients in our community.

Donating blood can help:

  • People who go through disasters or emergency situations
  • People who lose blood during major surgeries
  • People who have lost blood because of a gastrointestinal bleed
  • Women who have serious complications during pregnancy or childbirth
  • People with cancer or severe anemia sometimes caused by thalassemia or sickle cell disease
  • People who are injured in vehicular accidents or other forms of trauma

Each whole blood donation can help save up to three lives.

Completely! Sterile, single-use and disposable equipment is used for each donation and then safely discarded.

  • You must be between the ages of 17 and 70.
  • You must be in a healthy condition – no existing infections
  • Diabetics are eligible if they are controlled by diet or oral medication. Diabetics who use insulin are not eligible to donate.
  • Persons with hypertension are eligible as long as their blood pressure is within a reasonable reading at the time of the donation. (This will be determined by the blood-collecting technician).
  • There must be no history of jaundice are age 11.
  • You must have a meal (a sandwich or a cooked meal) and plenty of fluids within an hour prior to donation.
  • Healthy individuals between the ages of 17 and 70
  • Must weigh a minimum of 110 pounds
  • Have not had a tattoo or body piercing within the past 12 months
  • Must not be pregnant or nursing
  • Have no had major dental work within the past 3 days
  • Diabetics who are on insulin
  • Persons with existing infections, serious illnesses/medical problems

The amount of blood taken is four hundred and fifty millilitres (450 mls), which is slightly less than one pint.

Under normal circumstances you should feel fine after your donation.

The entire process from screening through recovery takes approximately 1 hour. The actual donation takes between 5 and 12 minutes.

Your blood volume is restored within several minutes to a few hours; plasma proteins are fully restored following a meal or hot or cold beverage. Your red blood cells replace themselves more slowly; however, the red cell volume is restored within four to seven days.

You can donate every 3 months. That equates to approximately 4 times each year. Platelets can also be donated more often than a whole unit of blood.

All blood collected is tested for HIV, Hepatitis B&C, HTLV and Syphilis. Another test is also done to determine your blood group and type.

In the event there is a positive result, you are notified of your test results.

Red blood cells contain chemical compounds which combine in different ways to determine a person’s blood group. There are four major groups: O, A, B and AB of which 88% are Rh positive and 12% are Rh negative.

You must have a meal (a sandwich or a cooked meal) and plenty of fluids within an hour prior to donation.
Never attempt to donate blood on an empty stomach.

The blood donation process can be broken down into three steps:

  1. Registration
    When you arrive at the National Blood Collecting Centre, a blood-collecting technician will ask you some confidential questions about your health and lifestyle. The information obtained will be used to ensure that your blood is safe to be donated to patients, and that no harm will come to you the donor. Nb. All information provided is strictly CONFIDENTIAL.

    You will then proceed to the donor area where the technician will conduct a short health examination which includes taking your pulse, blood pressure, and temperature. Your finger will also be pricked and a drop of blood taken to test your blood iron level to ensure it is safe for you to donate.

  1. Donation
    Once your vital signs are within normal range, a blood-collecting technician will clean your arm and insert a new, sterile needle attached to a blood bag, into your vein. This takes just a few seconds, and it can feel like a quick pinch. You will donate about 1 pint (one unit) of blood and the process should take less than 10 minutes (however, if you’re donating platelets, red cells, or plasma by apheresis, the process can take up to 2 hours). Blood samples will also be collected in two tubes which will be used to test the blood for diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B&C, HTLV and Syphilis. When you’re done, the needle will be withdrawn from your arm and you will be asked to apply some pressure to the site for a few minutes after which a band-aid will be applied.
  1. Refreshments
    Following the donation you will be given snacks and a drink to help your body get back to normal since you lost some fluids. You will also be advised to relax for at least 10 minutes to restore your strength and get some energy back before you leave

While the whole process, from the time you get to the Centre to the time you leave, can take about an hour, the actual donation itself may take as little as 5-12 minutes.

You need to increase your fluid intake for 24 to 48 hours after donation. Avoid strenuous physical exercise and activities or heavy lifting until the following day. There must also be no smoking or intake of alcohol for at least 4 hours.

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