Nearly 900 flu-related admissions in Canterbury


New initiatives are being trialled to help ease pressures of a busy flu season at hospitals.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been almost 900 flu-related hospital admissions in Canterbury.

Sixteen patients have died from flu-related complications.

Canterbury District Health Board hospitals are trialling new initiatives, such as increasing senior decision-making at the entrance of Christchurch Hospital’s emergency department to ease pressures on capacity.

Pro-active primary care assessment and management of people known to have a higher risk of developing complications are also a focus, CDHB medical officer of health Ramon Pink said.

“The number of admissions across the region is much higher than the past two flu seasons. Every year we plan for the worst and take a health system approach to planning and responding, meeting monthly with a group of representatives from different health providers, from general practices to pharmacies to labs to hospital staff,” said Dr Pink.

A free flu shot is still available to people who are most at risk. This includes people aged 65-years-old and older and pregnant women.