Visiting restrictions in place at Limerick hospital amid confirmed flu cases

Alan Owens

Reporter:

The emergency department at University Hospital Limerick

The emergency department at University Hospital Limerick

VISITING restrictions are in place at University Hospital Limerick due to a number of confirmed cases of flu.

The UL Hospitals Group said the restrictions had been put in place this Tuesday following a number of cases of flu. It has confirmed seven positive cases of flu at UHL, with a number of other patients symptomatic.

"As flu can be carried in to the hospital by patients or visitors, it is necessary with immediate effect to restrict visitors to one person per patient only and to remind members of the public that visiting hours are from 2pm to 4pm and from 6pm to 9pm only and are to be strictly adhered to," said a spokesperson.

"Members of the public are reminded not to bring children on visits anywhere in the hospital. Parents visiting children are unaffected by the restrictions but are advised not to bring siblings.

"We regret any inconvenience caused to patients and relatives by these necessary measures, which are being taken in the interests of patient care."

The spokesperson said "all infection control measures are in place and every effort is being made to manage and contain the spread of the flu. Patients are being isolated as appropriate".

People with flu like symptoms are advised to contact their GP by phone in the first instance and avoid presenting at the Emergency Department at UHL.

"UHL has been experiencing a high number of patients attending the ED in recent days. We have admitted a lot of seriously ill patients recently, many of who remain in the ED awaiting a bed," said the spokesperson.

"We are asking people to think about all their care and treatment options and keep ED services for the patients who need them most. For example, many patients with limb injuries can go to an Injury Unit in Ennis, Nenagh or St John’s Hospital. Injury Units are open in Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday and 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday at St. John's Hospital.

"Others with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or out of hours GP service where their GP can refer them to an Assessment Unit the following day if required.

"However, if you are seriously injured or ill or are worried your life is at risk the ED will assess and treat you as a priority."