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Established since 1963
Aiming to become best trauma centre

Published on: Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: The Emergency and Trauma Department (ETD) in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is aiming to become the best trauma centre in Borneo.

Department head Dr Ahmad Hashim said the current services and facilities offered by the department are one of the best and comprehensive especially after moving to the new building on May 12 this year.

"Currently, the unit has seven specialists but of course we wish to have more if we have the human resources and the budget to do this. "The facilities here are much better than before including a more comfortable waiting room for patients, and more spacious rooms for those seeking emergency treatment," he said during a media briefing here, Wednesday.

The old ETD building had been converted to become a centre for pre-hospital care and ambulance centre.

All zones in the department namely the Red Zone, Yellow Zone and Green Zone are designed and equipped specifically to cater for the different level of care and patient needs.

The Red Zone, said Dr Ahmad, is dedicated and confined to the critically ill patients with unstable hemodynamics and in need of urgent emergency life-saving treatment.

"There are five resuscitation bays for adults in this zone, specifically designed so as to allow all resuscitative procedures to be carried out easily based upon the 'Trauma Team' concept.

"For paediatric resuscitation, two resuscitation bays are available separately opposite the Yellow Zone," he said.

In the Yellow Zone or Immediate Care Zone, the hospital provides eight bays which serve as active and passive bays for incoming semi-critical patients and will serve as an observation area if the need arises.

The observation bay can accommodate 12 beds for patients to stay not more than 12 hours.

"The Green Zone caters for patients with minor injuries or those with uncomplicated medical problems. The zone has two consultation rooms which can accommodate four patient simultaneously and three secondary triage cubicle used by paramedic while another two cubicles are used by Housemen for patient's consultation," he explained.

The new ETD unit also now boasts a spacious Asthma Bay, dedicated for asthmatic patients with mild to moderate attacks of asthma.

"There is no waiting time for asthmatic patients. They will be directed straight to the Asthma Bay for emergency treatment. Currently, we have ten very comfortable armchairs provided there," he said.

Two rooms in the Green Zone are dedicated for the One Stop Crisis Centre which caters for all victims of domestic violence, rape and child abuse. There are even beds for women to deliver if they could not make it to Likas Hospital on time.

"Of course, afterwards, we will send them there," said Dr Ahmad.

A RM1.5million imaging equipment had been installed for the Emergency Imaging Unit to provide plain X-ray imaging and CT Scan, located in the Emergency Department.

"For patients with decompression syndrome, currently, we are using the facilities owned by the navy in Sepanggar. This is especially for patients who went diving or suffering altitude sickness.

"The navy has the facilities there but of course we wish to have our own hyperbaric chamber in the future," he said, adding that prior to this, patients would have to be sent to Labuan for treatment.

Dr Ahmad said that the new ETD is fully functional at the moment with more services offered to the public and he hoped that this new development will benefit the people tremendously.

"Before this, patients would have to be transferred from one hospital to another and spend a lot of time in the ambulance because of lack of facilities. This could cause discomfort to patients or even death," he explained.

The ETD has approximately 70,000 visits each year, ranging from 180 to 230 visits a day.

The centre is the busiest from 8pm to 11pm and from 10am to 6pm on weekends.

It provides 24 hours emergency care for the population of Kota Kinabalu, Penampang and Putatan district and its surrounding area and is responsible for the immediate recognition, evaluation, treatment, stabilisation and disposition of medical and surgical emergencies.