A large increase in people with "life-threatening" injuries or needing "time-critical treatment" has presented to Rotorua's Emergency Department over the holiday period.

Figures released to the Rotorua Daily Post show between December 22, 2018 and January 7, 2019, 1665 patients visited Rotorua Hospital's ED.

While this is two fewer patients than over the same period last year, Lakes District Health Board assistant communications officer Shan Tapsell said there had been a 34 per cent increase in status 1 and 2 patients from the 2017/18 holiday period to the 2018/19 period.

"That is high priority patients with life-threatening [injuries] or requiring time-critical treatment."


Over the holiday period, there was also a 12 per cent increase in overseas or non-resident patients and a 1.2 per cent increase in alcohol-related presentations.

"Overall there was a fair amount of trauma/injury related presentations ranging from minor to critical," Tapsell said.

"There were quite a few mountain biking and luging accidents but nothing too out of the ordinary. [There were] lots of minor isolated injuries, for example, hands, arms, leg."

Mark Woods, the director of Peak Safety, which runs the mountain biking first response team said the summer period had been steady for the first responders but no busier than previous years.

"We have had quite a few days with no call outs at all. Sometimes we have had four to six callouts on the very busy days."

Woods said the types of injuries people suffered varied from cuts and grazes on the gravel road to shoulder injuries and broken collarbones.

"There haven't been any particularly serious injuries that we have attended. There have been some head injuries and also some spine injuries but all without ongoing problems as far as we know."

Wood said all kinds of people were injured.


"There are some cautious people and some people whose ambitions exceed their talent.

"Sometimes the cautious ones get hurt too, unfortunately, while the gung-ho young ones get away with it."

The St John ambulance service didn't see anything out of the ordinary over the holiday period.

Emergency department triage
Status 1 - Immediately life-threatening. Maximum clinically appropriate triage time: Immediate simultaneous triage and treatment.
Status 2 - Imminently life-threatening, or important time-critical. Maximum clinically appropriate triage time: 10 minutes.
Status 3 - Potentially life-threatening, potential adverse outcomes from a delay of over 30 minutes, or severe discomfort or distress. Maximum clinically appropriate triage time: 30 minutes.
Status 4 - Potentially serious, or potential adverse outcomes from delay of over 60 minutes, or significant complexity or severity, or discomfort or distress. Maximum clinically appropriate triage time: 60 minutes.
Status 5 -Less urgent, or dealing with administrative issues only. Maximum clinically appropriate triage time: 120 minutes.
The assessment of patients on arrival to decide how urgent their illness or injury is and how soon treatment is required is called triaging.