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BREAKING: Surge in ED attendances at Limerick hospital sparks public appeal

UHL had the worst level of overcrowding in 2017 in Ireland with 8,889 patients being treated on trolleys at ED

Nearly 500 people presented at the Emergency Department at UHL on Monday and Tuesday

THE UL Hospitals Group is urging members of the public to consider all care options before attending the Emergency Department at University Hospital Limerick which is managing extremely high levels of presentations today.

Nearly 500 people presented at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday - representing a significant increase on recent numbers.

"The department has for the past month been experiencing high attendances by significant numbers of very sick, non-Covid patients, while UHL continues to manage demand for inpatient beds from people with active Covid-19 infection and those who have been de-listed but continue to recover from the disease," said a spokesperson.

"The ED at UHL is the Mid-West region’s main emergency treatment admission pathway for Covid-19 patients, and we ask the public to help us protect the safety of all patients and staff by only presenting at the department in the event of a genuine life-threatening emergency or illness," they added.

Attendances at ED have regularly exceeded 200 per day over the past month, compared with average daily attendances of 197 during 2019. Average weekday presentations are currently running at approximately 211. However, between 8am on Monday and 8am today, a total of 490 patients attended the ED (249 on Monday, 241 on Tuesday).

"We are sorry that any admitted patient faces a long wait for a bed, and we are focusing on all aspects of patient flow, including access to diagnostic tests that help ensure patient discharge or transfer in a timely manner. All efforts are being made to ensure that physical distancing is maintained, and wait times are kept to a minimum, and we want to reassure the public that all our patients continue to receive expert medical care while they wait," said a spokesperson for UL Hospitals who added that not all patients are waiting on trolleys in the Emergency Department. 

Members of the public are being reminded there are a range of alternatives available in the Mid-West that are appropriate for less serious illnesses, including family doctors, out-of-hours GP services, and local pharmacies.

The Injury Units at Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals and St John’s Hospital are an excellent option for treatment of broken bones, dislocations, sprains, strains, wounds, scalds and minor burns.

People with Covid-19 symptoms should not present at the emergency department.

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