Legislative Council, Tuesday 21 September 2021
Ms FORREST - to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Mrs HISCUTT
With regard to availability of ventilators and staff required to care for ventilated patients in Intensive Care Units (ICU’s) in Tasmania’s three major hospitals:
1 How many ventilators are available in each ICU at;
2 How many qualified and experienced staff are available to provide care for ventilated patients at;
3 How many staff are needed per ventilated patient to provide 24 hour care?
1 Ventilators available in each ICU are as follows:
a. Royal Hobart Hospital – 23 Intensive Care Unit standard ventilators
b. Launceston General Hospital - 19 Intensive Care Unit standard ventilators
c. North West Regional Hospital - 17 ventilators Intensive Care Unit standard ventilators.
In addition to these 59 Intensive Care Unit standard ventilators located at the RHH, LGH and NWRH, there are a further 112 intensive care ventilators in the state pandemic stockpile and in the private sector, making a total of 171 intensive care ventilators available in Tasmania.
In addition to the 171 intensive care ventilators there are also 96 transport ventilators for emergency and short term ventilation use, making a total of 267 ventilators available in Tasmania.
We are also expecting a further 100 emergency ventilators to arrive soon, taking the total number of ventilators for Tasmania to 367 (171 intensive care ventilators and 196 emergency/ short term ventilators).
a. Royal Hobart Hospital - 175 qualified and experienced nursing staff
b. Launceston General Hospital - 95 qualified and experienced nursing staff
c. North West Regional Hospital - 33 qualified and experienced nursing staff
In addition to these nursing staff, there are other health professionals who possess transferable skills in ventilation if needed, in areas such as the emergency department, theatre/anaesthetic, recovery, and retrieval.
3 In accordance with the Workforce Standards for Critical Care Nursing, published by the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses, all critically ill patients (including those requiring mechanical ventilation) require one Registered Nurse per patient per shift. The Standards also include other roles recommended to support the provision of critical care.