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HealthInfo Canterbury

Acute Admission to General Surgery

If your GP decides that you'll need to be seen acutely (on the same day) you'll be sent to the Surgical Assessment and Review Area (SARA) at Christchurch Hospital.

SARA (Surgical Assessment and Review Area)

This is a 12-bed unit located in the Parkside block of Christchurch Public Hospital on the east side. It's part of Ward 16 on the 2nd floor of this block and is open from 7 am until 10.30 pm each day.

This unit allows patients to be seen by the general surgical team without having to go via the Emergency Department (ED).

If you're very unwell and need some initial urgent treatment, or if it's outside the hours noted above, you'll need to go via the ED.

SARA is staffed by nurses and the surgical doctors on call for the day including the House Surgeon and the Registrar. The Surgical Consultant will also assess patients here as needed.

What will happen when I go to SARA?

When you arrive at SARA you'll be assessed by a nurse who'll record things like your temperature, pulse, and blood pressure. They may get you to do a urine sample, or take blood from you if this has been requested. A doctor will come and see you and talk to you about your symptoms and your medical history. They will also examine you and prescribe your usual medications and other medications you may need (such as pain relief, anti-nausea medication or antibiotics).

You might need further tests such as an X-ray, ultrasound or CT scan, a gastroscopy, or a colonoscopy. They may observe you for a while to see what happens to your symptoms, or they may get you ready for surgery if this is needed.

What sort of conditions are seen in SARA?

There are a wide range of problems that might lead you to need to be seen in SARA by the general surgical team.

Things people might be seen for include (this is not a full list):

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by General Surgeons Canterbury DHB. Page created January 2019.

See also:

Communication cards in multiple languages

Page reference: 507069

Review key: HIEMG-274747