South Australia’s Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier has praised an “astute young doctor” in a hospital emergency department for preventing a full-blown coronavirus

Davies

A female in a doctor's uniform stands with a stethoscope around her neck.

South Australia’s Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier has praised an “astute young doctor” in a hospital emergency department for preventing a full-blown coronavirus outbreak in the state.

Key points:

  • SA Chief Public Health Officer has praised a young female doctor for picking up on coronavirus symptoms in an elderly woman
  • She said the state could have been dealing with “widespread community transmission” if not for the junior doctor
  • The doctor is herself now in a medi-hotel as she is a close contact to a coronavirus patient

The junior doctor, who Professor Spurrier did not name, picked up that a woman in her 80s had a slight cough when she turned up at the Lyell McEwin Hospital, in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, last Friday night.

The woman had coronavirus and now so do 25 of her family members and their close contacts.

They are now known as the Parafield cluster, but so far there have been no new coronavirus cases in South Australia not directly linked with the elderly woman and one of her children, who worked at the Peppers Waymouth medi-hotel.

A woman with grey hair wearing a floral dress standing in front of a board with SA Government logos

Nicola Spurrier has become a popular figure with SA Health creating cartoons of her to promote hygiene measures.(ABC News)

When asked about whether the doctor was a hero at a press conference this morning, Dr Spurrier said she was actually a “heroine”.

“She has done a fantastic job,” she said.

“She is one of our junior doctors, but I’d say like all our staff at SA Health they do a great job. She was on the ball. She knew what she had to do.

“She heard this person cough a couple of times and thought ‘they’re not getting away without having a swab’ and went ahead and swabbed the person.

Lyell McEwin Hospital testing line

People wait to get tested for coronavirus at the Lyell McEwin Hospital on Tuesday after the cluster was revealed.(ABC News: Claire Campbell)

The woman presented at the hospital “not feeling herself” and “weak”, an SA Health spokeswoman said, but otherwise did not present any obvious COVID–19 symptoms, which can include a cough, a runny nose and a fever.

The spokeswoman said only people with symptoms in South Australian hospitals were tested; however, all patients are asked screening questions, such as if they are feeling unwell or have been overseas recently.

Dr Spurrier said the elderly woman’s case “came out of the blue, suddenly in the middle of the night”.

“The real reason we picked that up was not because somebody had classic COVID symptoms and came to the emergency department, it was because of our astute young doctor — junior doctor — who heard a bit of a cough and thought they would take the swab and that is where we started,” she said.

“The second part of this is that the contact tracing very quickly on Sunday was able to identify that it was linked to a medi-hotel and subsequent to that we did this huge blitz of testing in the medi-hotel, and that is how we picked up the additional cases at that medi-hotel.”

The woman was later admitted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital as a precaution.

She and her husband have now been released from hospital to a medi-hotel.

The doctor is also staying in a medi-hotel after being identified as a close contact.

 372 Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

US President Donald Trump's oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week

US President Donald Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week, according to his spokesman Friday. “Don tested positive at […]