Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : January 9th 2018 Contents PAGE 16 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, JANUARY 9, 2018
42 Murray Street, Wonthaggi
25 a’Beckett Street, Inverloch
Firstly, let me wish all readers of this column a happy, peaceful and safe Christmas and
New Year. For those going on a family vacation after Christmas, have a wonderful time.
I apologise for essentially pushing the same 'Safe Christmas' message this year as I have
in previous years. The reason for the repetitive nature of the Healthwatch Christmas
message is because this time of year remains one where many in our community
continue to expose themselves to unnecessary injury and other health risks.
It is an unfortunate fact that this time of celebration, family reunion and religious
significance, can rapidly turn to a time of tragedy. It is a time of year where we not only
need to be vigilant to potential dangers but also be prepared to step back from stressful
situations before they get out of control. High on the list of common events with tragic
l Accidental poisonings
l Accidents and falls in the home
l Choking incidents and the accidental swallowing of dangerous items
l Home fires
l Alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses
l Drink-Drive traffic accidents
l Homicides and assaults
Don't ruin your Christmas by becoming one of these statistics. Here are a few simple
steps you can take to avoid the most common risks.
Kitchen Accidents - Hot fat, boiling water, sharp knives and perhaps the presence of
children make it a one of the most dangerous places during the Christmas holiday.
Keep children out of the kitchen or supervise very closely if they are 'little helpers'
Do not drink alcohol while cooking
Wipe up any spills as soon as they occur so that people do not slip.
Christmas Decorations - Every year many people are hurt when fixing decorations.
Including falling from chairs, electric shocks, burns and children swallowing fairy light
Use a step ladder if necessary to attach the decorations
Test Christmas lights before putting them up and don't overload electric sockets.
Keep fairy lights out of the reach of young children and do not leave lose bulbs around
for the children to pick up.
Turn off the fairy lights at night to avoid potential fire risks
Keep glass and other breakable decorations and novelty items out of reach of children.
Always place candles or tea lights inside an appropriate container and never put them
on a Christmas tree.
Scissors, Knives and Screwdrivers - It is surprising how many people stab themselves
with scissors or knives either opening presents carelessly or trying to assemble a toy with
them. So take your time and use a screwdriver or other tools made for the purpose
Packaging Loose packaging left on the floor is a falls hazard. Clear up packaging
immediately after opening (and recycle!).
Poisoning - At Christmas you may have nephews, nieces, friends' children or
grandchildren present who do not visit often and who may access areas that are not
protected (e.g cupboards where cleaning materials or other toxic substances are kept).
Also, Christmas cards and presents often contain small batteries that are extremely
hazardous if swallowed by a small child.
Food poisoning is also a greater risk at Christmas time. The causes are often
undercooking the turkey, washing the Christmas turkey on a bench and then preparing
other food on the same surface and keeping cooked meats too long before consuming
Make sure toxic substances are not accessible by children.
Keep small batteries out of the reach of small children.
Don't wash the Turkey, it is not necessary, cook it well and do not keep it beyond 2 days
Alcohol & Stress - Stressful situations and alcohol can be a deadly combination. Lack of
sleep and the stress of a house full of guests can simply be too much for some people.
Take some 'time out' when you can relax. If a situation becomes unbearable or you find
yourself getting angry or 'losing control' try to remove yourself from the immediate
situation. If possible talk to a trusted third party or if you are feeling totally overwhelmed
there are organizations such as Lifeline that can help.
Alcohol reduces your awareness of risks so don't consume alcohol in situations where
the risks are significant.
If you haven't yet taken on board the 'Don't Drink and Drive' message then you are
probably a future candidate for the Darwin awards1
Final Word - If you do not have a safety first kit at home it would be wise to get one for
those minor accidents. Make sure you are familiar with using the kit, especially how to
treat burns and cuts and abrasions. If you do not know basic CPR find out if there are
family members or nearby friends who do know, it could be the difference between life
and death of someone dear to you.
Note (1): Darwin Awards are an on-line 'tongue in cheek' commemoration of individuals
who 'protect' our gene pool by making the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives in an
extraordinarily idiotic manner.
42 Murray Street, Wonthaggi
25 a’Beckett Street, Inverloch
Don't Become a Darwin Award
Winner - Keep Safe During the
Christmas and the New Year
By John Turner (B. Soc.Welfare, Master Intl.
& Community Development)
(Article Courtesy of Wonthaggi Medical Group, 42 Murray St, Wonthaggi)
Persons requiring medical treatment are able
to be transported to the appropriate medical
service in the following ways:
a) Emergency ambulance services
b) Non-emergency patient transport
provided by organisations registered with
c) Community transport run by volunteer
Emergency Medical Response
by Ambulance Victoria
The importance of a swift medical response
to an acute health emergency situation
cannot be overstated. It is a significant
determinant of the eventual health outcome
for the patient. Whether it is a traffic related
trauma, a drowning, a stroke, a cardiac arrest
or an accident in the home or workplace, those
first minutes following the event and the first
response of those in a position to help are of
critical importance. The very first emergency
response, say of administering CPR or other
safety first measures generally relies on
those persons at the scene on the time; this
is why all of us should consider learning how
to administer CPR, defibrillation and other
safety first measures.
In response to a triple 000 call, the caller
will be asked a series of questions that are
designed to ensure a speedy and efficient
response to the emergency. In rural and
remote areas the ‘First Responders’ may be
either individual volunteers, Community
Emergency Response Teams (CERTS)
comprising volunteers or paid Ambulance
Community Officers (ACOs).
responders’ are locally based and dispatched
at the same time as the ambulance in order
to provide a timely response while waiting
for the arrival of an ambulance and the
‘First responders’ do not
take the patient to hospital but are there to
support the paramedics.
In an emergency, patients will initially be
treated at the scene and then transported
to the nearest appropriate emergency
department for medical treatment by the
Ambulance officers. The paramedics provide
information to the hospital emergency
doctors about the patient and the medical
treatment that has been administered up to
the point of handover of the patient.
‘000’ services should not be used
inappropriately, however anyone who is
experiencing chest pain should use the service
even if later it turns out to be something
trivial, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Sad to say, the Ambulance officers often
encounter situations of hostility and
situations where bystanders in their desire
to help actually get in the way of the officers
administering the help. It is important that
once an Ambulance Victoria officer is on
the scene that any bystanders or persons
administering CPR do exactly as requested.
Sometimes this will mean carrying on CPR
until the paramedics are in a position to take
over. It goes without saying that violence
towards ambulance officers is an act of
bastardry that should not be tolerated by
Non-Emergency Patient Transport
Non-emergency patient transport (NEPT) is
accessible by patients where the transport is
clinically necessary but not time critical and
where the patient requires active monitoring
or supervision while being transported.
NEPT requests must be authorised by a
medical professional and are requested by
the person responsible for payment.
As well as providing some NEPT services
directly, Ambulance Victoria contracts a
number of other organisations to provide
these services. A list of these is provided at
the end of this article.
It is important to understand that a “patient
who does not require active monitoring or
supervision while being transported” will
not be eligible for non-emergency patient
transport. Pensioners eligible for this service
do not incur a fee all other eligible users will
Community transport services are staffed by
volunteers. To access the services patients
must meet certain eligibility criteria. These
can be found on the Bass Coast Shire
website but essentially they relate to frailty,
affordability, accessibility to public transport
and are for patients who do not require
medical treatment or monitoring during
In Bass Coast Shire the Red Cross Patient
Transport is a volunteer community
transport service that relies heavily on public
donations in order to provide the service. In
order to access the service the patient must
have a referral from their GP, Specialist or
hospital and submit a “Patient Transport
Service Patient Referral” to the Red Cross.
Generally, the service will be provided for a
duration of up to six weeks. Bookings have to
be made at least 5 days in advance during the
hours of 10am and 2pm or 9am and 3pm for
appointments in Latrobe Valley.
Bass Coast Health’s Family Resource Centre
also provide a volunteer based community
transport service for residents of the shire
and for Wonthaggi Hospital inpatients
for transport between home and hospital
Other Transport Options
In situations where patients and their
immediate family have to travel long
distances to access specialist medical services
they can apply to “The Victorian Patient
Transport Assistance Scheme” which is a
state government scheme that subsidises
both travel and accommodation costs in
Holders of a Veterans Affairs Gold Card are
eligible for subsidised transport. The DVA
can provide details of eligibility and make the
necessary transport arrangements.
Useful Info and References
Ambulance Victoria :
Bass Coast Shire: Tel: 1300 226 278 www.
Bass Coast Health: Family Resource Centre
Volunteer Transport Service 03 5671 3372
Red Cross Patient Transport Inverloch -
0419 107 398
Non Emergency Transport Providers
• Health Select – (03) 9874 0668
• National Patient Transport – 1300 628 728
• Paramedic Services Victoria – 03 9782 4344
• Royal Flying Doctor Service – 1300 887 678
• St John Ambulance – 03 8571 2200
• Wilson Medic One – 1300 262 000
Non -Emergency Transport
and Community Transport
By John Turner, (B Soc. Welf., Master Intl &
Community Development, MAAPM, MAICD)
(Article Courtesy of Wonthaggi Medical Group, 42 Murray St, Wonthaggi)
VISIT Sandy Point Art Gallery this summer
to see something a little bit different from lo-
cal artist Mary Shaw. You’ll still find plenty of
stunning local landscapes and seascapes in wa-
tercolour but new to the gallery is a selection
of works inspired by Mary’s recent trip around
Australia with her husband Neil.
Over five months, Mary and Neil took in the
breathtaking scenery of the Flinders Ranges,
the Pilbara, Kununurra, Darwin, Cannia Gorge
and down the east coast. Mary has brought
these sights home to be enjoyed by Sandy Point
locals and visitors in an exhibition she calls
“Tour de Aus”. All works are for sale, as well
as beautiful silk scarves, handmade jewellery,
wooden toys and homemade jams and pre-
serves. Also well worth a visit to the gallery is
the impressive shell collection donated by a lo-
cal family, which features some very rare shell
varieties in fantastic condition.
Also on show at Sandy Point this summer is a
selection of works completed over a number of
years by local artist Sally Gibson. Sally works
mainly in pastel, featuring a range of subjects
from flowers and landscapes to more abstract
works. Sally also creates wonderful portraits of
people and pets.
From Friday you can see Sally’s work at the
Beach House B&B, 16 Sunshine Rise, Sandy Point.
Sandy Point Art Gallery is located at 33 Beach
Parade, Sandy Point. The gallery is open from
9am to 6pm every day.
Local artists on
show at Sandy Point
Mary Shaw’s beautiful watercolour paintings, depicting scenery from Wilsons Promontory,
Sandy Point, Port Franklin, all around Australia and even the Arctic are on show at Sandy
Point Art Gallery seven days a week. kg060218
A COMMUNITY fundraiser being held at Coal
Creek Community Park and Museum, Korum-
burra has been moved to the new date of Satur-
day January 27 from 10am to 4pm.
Due to the extreme heat of Saturday gone the
day has been moved to a more suitable date.
It should be a fun day with lots of activities for
all ages as well as live music.
The fundraiser is for Emily, a little girl aged
Her community is trying to raise $15,000 to
get her to Sydney where the surgery she so des-
perately needs is available; and invites everyone
to support this very important cause.
Emily is described as a girl with a beautiful
personality, a gentle soul, loving and kind to
her friends, and family of six siblings.
After suffering from severe headaches, vomit-
ing after meals and pain in the left side of her
jaw, which were initially misdiagnosed as the flu,
throat infection or food poisoning, Emily was fi-
nally diagnosed with a large tumour on the left
side of her jaw just before Christmas in 2016.
Surgeons weren’t able to remove the tumour
due to it growing into the facial nerve system,
and the results from a biopsy were inconclusive.
The tumour is still growing in size, and Emily
is in constant pain.
Emily and her mum travel back and forth
to see specialists every few weeks; a six hour
round trip by car and now longer on public
transport as the family car has recently died.
Emily’s last MRI scan results revealed that the
tumour has now encased her lymph node and is
spreading through the facial nerve system.
Her family have been told by her doctors about
a specialist in Sydney Dr Marlene Soma, who is
one of the world’s leading specialists in cases
like Emily’s, and who may be able to assist.
This specialist comes at a cost and with cur-
rent medical bills as well as transport costs, the
family needs assistance to get Emily there.
In November, a motorcycle community called
The Shepherds heard of Emily’s plight and or-
ganised a fundraising ride.
Emily’s stepfather contacted Coal Creek Heri-
tage park in Korumburra to ask permission to
use their facility as a final meeting place for the
ride, and asked if they could do some activities
Coal Creek heard Emily’s story and wanted to
do much more.
The result is a big community fundraising
day for Emily.
For more information, there is a Facebook
Event page called B.O.B in the Burra.
The Gofundme link is www.gofundme.com/
You can also contact Steve on 0423 938 234
Everyone involved in raising money to get
Emily to Sydney would appreciate any and all
contributions made to help Emily on her jour-
ney and towards making this day a success.
A major fun day at Coal Creek Saturday,
January 27 aims to raise money to pay for
surgery for eight year old Emily (pictured)
who has been diagnosed with a rare salivary
gland tumour which has now grown over her
lymph node and is rapidly affecting her fa-
Coal Creek fun day
to help sick girl
Links Archive January 3rd 2018 January 16th 2018 Navigation Previous Page Next Page