Princess Margaret Hospital. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune staff
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
PRINCESS Margaret Hospital cancelled admissions and elective surgeries yesterday until further notice following a Montel Heights mass shooting, which compounded an ongoing overcrowding and boarding issue at the Accident and Emergency Department.
No one died in the incident, but 15 people were admitted to PMH with gunshot wounds, according to a Public Hospitals Authority press statement yesterday.
While one person remained in critical condition, six of the gunshot victims underwent surgery and are recovering in stable condition. Six of them were discharged and two left without being seen, against doctors’ advice.
Three others received medical care for non-gunshot injuries, Health Minister Dr Duane Sands told The Tribune.
“The Public Hospitals Authority wishes to confirm that a total of 15 gunshot victims were assessed in the Accident & Emergency Department, Princess Margaret Hospital on Sunday June 30, 2019 commencing at approximately 12.30am in relation to a reported incident in New Providence,” PHA said yesterday.
“Seven of the 15 persons assessed were admitted to hospital, six of whom were taken to theatre and received surgery. Currently, six of the victims are in stable condition, and one person remains critical.
“Of the total number of persons who presented at hospital, six were discharged, and two left without being seen against medical advice.”
For his part, Dr Sands said while this was not the worst incident of this kind in Bahamian history, it was “very unfortunate” and spoke to other issues present in the country.
“Violence and trauma diverts the most precious and scarce resources from the care of other problems and other patients,” the health minister said in the aftermath of the shooting incident.
Police have said it happened shortly after midnight at Ethel Street.
“Whether we are talking about blood, whether we are talking about operating times, the Intensive Care Unit, space or staff, this issue of violence and trauma seriously impacts the delivery of healthcare to deal with other problems.”
He praised the response of medical staff saying they were “absolutely” able to manage the situation.
“The staff at Princess Margaret Hospital performed absolutely incredibly. They performed with skill. They performed with professionalism and they managed these victims in the emergency room in the operating room.
“So I think that when we look at what happened in Eleuthera on (last) Monday and when we look at what happened this morning I couldn’t be prouder of the entire medical team for how they have managed to deal with what could have been much worst outcomes.”
He was referring to a tour bus crash in Eleuthera that left about 26 passengers hurt last Monday.
PMH was also forced to appeal to members of the public to donate blood as the blood bank was in urgent need.
The blood bank operates from Monday to Friday at 8am to 4.30pm, Saturday at 9am to 3.30pm and is closed on Sundays.