Nurses help sick hedgehog found wandering in South Tyneside hospital's emergency department

A sick hedgehog was looked after by nurses after it wandered into the emergency department at South Tyneside District Hospital. Credit: South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

A team of hospital nurses had a prickly situation to deal with when an ill hedgehog found its way into an emergency department.

The juvenile male hedgehog found its way in the emergency department at South Tyneside District Hospital late on Sunday night.

Using the doors usually used by ambulance crews, the mammal walked into the resus unit, where nurses took him under their wings.

Sister Kate Gordon, who has experience of looking after hedgehogs, along with nurses Nicola Kirtley and Laura Short, healthcare assistant Rachel Oren and staff nurse Megan Bell found a box for him and grabbed a blanket from a warming cabinet to make him comfortable.

The hedgehog is now being well looked after by charity Pawz for Thought in Ferryboat Lane in Sunderland and is expected to make a full recovery.

The hedgehog, which has been called John, was found wandering in the emergency department. Credit: South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

When recovered, Ms Gordon intends to release the animal into 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, and he is now known as John instead.

Ms Gordon said: “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.

Kate Gordon with John the hedgehog. Credit: South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

“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 himnearby.”

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.

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