Published on: 17 August 2023
A team of hospital nurses had a prickly situation to deal with late into Sunday night when an ill hedgehog found its way into the emergency department at South Tyneside District Hospital.
The mini mammal wandered into the resus unit, using doors usually used by ambulance crews.
The startled Emergency Department team soon realised their little visitor was not well.
Sister Kate Gordon, who has experience of looking after hedgehogs, put on some gloves and scooped him up.
Kate Gordon with John the hedgehog after he was discovered inside South Tyneside District Hospital.
Alongside registered nurses, Nicola Kirtley and Laura Short, healthcare assistant Rachel Oren and staff nurse Megan Bell, they grabbed a blanket from a warming cabinet and found a box to pop him into.
The hedgehog is now being well looked after at Pawz for Thought in Ferryboat Lane in Sunderland.
The charity has started treating the animal and expects him to make a full recovery.
All going well, the juvenile male hedgehog will be well enough for Kate to collect soon. She plans to release him on Temple Park Memorial Park, close to the hospital.
The nursing team had called him Barry, but Pawz for Thought uses an alphabet system to name its animals, so Kate quickly came up with John instead.
"Our resus area was empty and we found him pottering around. He was quite little and we quickly saw he didn’t look well.
"He was quite floppy when we picked him up and he was cold, so we wrapped him up in a warmed blanket. The charity said he was hypothermic, so was really cold, which is probably why he came inside, to get warm.
"I just love hedgehogs. I’ve got two quite tame ones living in my garden. I had some cat food in the boot of my car, so we were able to give him some of that.”
"The charity has already started his treatment, so I’ll be picking him up and releasing him nearby."
The Emergency Department team found the hedgehog wandering through its resus area.
Following news of their tiny visitor being shared with their colleagues, the Emergency Department team has led efforts between colleagues to donate funds for Pawz for Thought.
Anyone who would like to add to the appeal or find out more about the charity can click here.