Christchurch Hospital staff continue to care for 36 people

Press Release – Canterbury DHB

Media Update – Christchurch Hospital staff continue to care for 36 people injured in yesterday’s terror attack


Please attribute comment to David Meates, Chief Executive, Canterbury District Health Board

Christchurch Hospital staff continue to care for 36 people injured in yesterday’s terror attack

Following yesterday’s mass-casualty terror attack the Canterbury Health System provided emergency care to 48 people.

While some people with minor injuries were discharged last night, we are still caring for 36 people in Christchurch Hospital.

There are eleven people who are critically unwell being looked after in our intensive care unit. In addition, one critically injured child has been transferred to Starship Hospital in Auckland.

Patients range in age from 2 years to late 60s.

I want to express my sympathy to the families and friends of those who died in this horrific terror attack on our Christchurch community.

I would also like to acknowledge the way our staff stepped into emergency response mode, and the public for their cooperation yesterday afternoon when all of our Christchurch Hospitals and health facilities were in ‘lock-down’.

We cleared patients from the Emergency Department to accommodate the large numbers of incoming wounded. Our integrated health system stepped up as they have before – primary care, our private hospital colleagues and the district health board, worked together to ensure people received the care they needed.

Canterbury people have been through a lot in recent years.

We had a series of earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 – and on 22 February 2011 one earthquake resulted in the deaths of 185 people

That was a shocking toll. Our community is still recovering from that.

Yesterday’s terrorist attack took away the lives of 49 innocent people.

It’s hard to fathom the enormity of this act of terrorism.

As the reality sets in for those directly affected and for those who live in our normally peaceful community we know people will need a lot of support with their mental wellbeing.

I encourage everyone to connect with families and friends, check in on neighbours and those who live alone.

What happened yesterday is abhorrent. It’s a lot to take in and talking to friends and family can help.

People’s lives have been changed forever, and we as a health system are here to support everyone in our community.

A reminder that if you want to talk to someone – free counselling is available by calling or texting 1737. Trained counsellors are available when you need them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Editable video footage of today’s health media briefing is available here:

Coverage is also available on our facebook page:


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