Tugun’s John Flynn Private Hospital.
Tugun’s John Flynn Private Hospital.

Ambos defend hospital transfer

A CRITICALLY injured woman was driven by ambulance from John Flynn Private Hospital to the Gold Coast Hospital at Southport on Friday where she later died, despite the availability of the Tweed Hospital emergency department.

The Northern NSW Local Health District has confirmed the Tweed Hospital was not on bypass or redirection at any time on Friday when a woman was hit by a car while walking through the John Flynn Private Hospital car park about 4.40pm.

The 50-year-old woman fell over a fence and suffered multiple head, chest and leg injuries.

She was treated at John Flynn before being transported to Gold Coast Hospital where she died.

A health district spokesperson said even if the hospital was on bypass, critically ill patients would always be admitted to Tweed Hospital regardless of what state they were injured in.

She said the decision to transport the patient to Southport, rather than Tweed, was made by the Queensland Ambulance Service.

"It is not uncommon for serious trauma cases to be sent directly to larger hospitals such as the Gold Coast Hospital, as the range of sub-specialties is greater at Gold Coast and they have the most appropriate facilities to deal with severe injuries," the spokesperson said.

The Queensland Ambulance Service said the Gold Coast Hospital was a "major trauma service" and, given the nature of the patient's injuries, was the most appropriate facility despite being more than half an hour away.

The decision was made in consultation with an intensive care unit specialist from John Flynn Hospital, who then travelled with the patient and an intensive-care paramedic to give treatment in the ambulance.



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