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Emergency health care in the comfort of your home

February 21, 2024 | in News

A Victorian mother-of-two is urging the community to make use of the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department (VVED).

Teesdale woman, Sarah Climpson, said her “mind was blown” after a VVED emergency doctor helped resolve her medical issue via a video call, without her having to travel to hospital.

VVED is an Australian-first video telehealth medical consultation service, run by Northern Health and funded by the Department of Health, for people with non-life-threatening medical conditions.

Through VVED, highly skilled emergency doctors and nurses can assess and treat patients virtually, arrange referrals and provide a follow up care plan if required.

Sarah’s husband called an ambulance for her when she suffered dangerous hypoglycaemia as she was unable to effectively take her usual medication, due to gastro.

When paramedics arrived, they decided Sarah needed medication to improve her blood sugar and reduce her nausea.

“The paramedics were incredible and said to me… ‘what we’re going to do is call a clinician in the emergency department’,” Sarah said.

“They said it’s called the VVED and we’re going to go onto this webpage, login and get an ED physician on the phone to have an emergency consult.

“My mind was blown – I’d never heard of this before.”

VVED is available across Victoria 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can treat non-life-threatening emergencies virtually, with no need to attend an emergency department.

The free service can be accessed by anyone in Victoria with a mobile device and an internet connection.

Sarah and her two kids.

“As a mum with two little kids, getting to the hospital can be really challenging,” Sarah said.

“Now that I know this resource is available to me, I absolutely will utilise it in the future.

“To not need to rely on getting out in the car or out in the community, just adds that extra level of availability and accessibility. I think it’s absolutely incredible.”

VVED is helping save Triple Zero (000) for emergencies by reducing non-urgent and repeat ambulance call outs, unnecessary trips to hospital, and the time paramedics spend with cases.

Importantly, however, if your emergency requires urgent treatment, VVED staff will advise you to go to a hospital or call an ambulance for you.