St Ann’s Bay Hospital on high alert after last Sunday’s two-bus crash

ST ANN, Jamaica — With the memory of the toll that last Sunday’s two-bus crash had on the facility and staff, CEO of the St Ann’s Bay Hospital, Dennis Morgan is appealing to everyone to be careful on the roads.

“I hope we never have to go through that again; but should it happen we are prepared. It was a very hectic time for the hospital; it was very exhausting for our staff. This… is a holiday weekend and we know persons traversing our roadways are not always taking care and being courteous on the road. So we are on high alert and just praying we don’t have a repeat,” he told OBSERVER ONLINE.

Thirty-eight-year-old bus driver, Kermit Grant, and his 56-year-old passenger, Elizabeth Palmer, were the first ones to die as a result of the July 23 crash on the Salem main road. Two more passengers died later in the week, moving the death toll to four. In the hours after the incident, the St Ann’s Bay Hospital was inundated with the injured.

All that happened while still dealing with COVID patients, other patients who are still presenting advanced stages of illness because they would have delayed surgery as a result of COVID. [Plus] still dealing with staffing challenges as persons are leaving the public health sector for whatever reason; but we were still able to do what needed to be done,” explained Morgan.

Some patients were eventually transferred to other medical facilities outside the parish once they were stable enough.

“At the end of the day our staff knew that they had a job to do, which was to administer care and ultimately save lives. To a great extent they have done so remarkably well, all categories of staff at this facility on that day did their duty and so I must commend our team. It was only two weeks prior to the accident that we did a table top drill and the lessons from that came in handy last Sunday,” Morgan added.

Eighteen people are still hospitalised, said the CEO.

“Those who remain in hospital at some point will need to undergo surgery,” he said.

– Akera Davis

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