6 Sep 2011

Rural hospital staff cope with bus crash injured

11:38 pm on 6 September 2011

Whakatane Hospital says support from its staff and the community made it easier to cope with a large number of casualties from Monday's crash between a school bus and a logging truck.

The rural hospital received 34 of the casualties from the collision which occurred on Reid Road near Ruatoki, at about 3.30pm.

The clinical leader of the emergency department, Matthew Valentine, said the patients ranged in age from five to 17 and injuries included involving fractures, head injuries, cuts and bruises.

He says the department normally sees about 55 patients in a day but had about 80 on Monday.

Dr Valentine says extra doctors and nurses came in or stayed late from earlier shifts and staff from other wards assisted.

Critically-ill patients were later transferred to other hospitals.