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01 Jul 2022

Limerick hospital issues appeal to public amid 'unprecedented' demand at emergency department

Limerick hospital issues appeal to public amid 'unprecedented' demand at emergency department

University Hospital Limerick has issued an appeal to the public | Picture: Adrian Butler

THE UNIVERSITY of Limerick Hospitals Group (ULHG) has urged the public to consider all other care options amid "unprecedented demand" on its emergency department (ED).

This year, the hospital group says many patients who have presented to the ED in University Hospital Limerick for care and treatment could have been seen to at minor injury units, family doctors, out-of-hours doctors and pharmacies.

Over the Bank Holiday weekend, the hospital says ED staff will continue to see and treat patients who require urgent and emergency treatment first.  

However, it warned patients who attend for routine and non-urgent treatment may experience very long waiting times over the holiday weekend and into early next week.

ULHG says it regrets this delay, and is asking the public to help.

Dr Damien Ryan, emergency medicine consultant at ULHG, and also lead of the injury unit at Nenagh Hospital, said that anyone who is seriously ill or in need of emergency care should not delay in attending the ED, and encouraged people with more minor injuries and ailments to consider all the options, including the injury units at St John’s, Ennis and Nenagh hospitals.

"The ED in UHL has seen unprecedented demand over the past number of weeks, and we’ve had to prioritise our sickest patients, as we always do. The downside is that people with less serious illnesses will have longer wait times for assessment and provision of care. So we would strongly urge people who have more minor symptoms or injuries to consider attending their General Practitioner, or one of the out-of-hours GP services like ShannonDoc. Additionally we have Injury Units in Nenagh, Ennis and St John’s Hospitals, which are well set up to provide care for minor injuries such as sprains, fractures, wounds, burns, etc, to everyone over the age of five years, and provide very efficient and timely care in those settings,” Dr Ryan said. 

As always if you or someone else is seriously ill or needs urgent emergency care do not delay going to ED at University Hospital Limerick or dialling 999/112 for help.

To get rapid access to the most reliable information about Injury Units, simply go to Google and type ‘HSE, Injury Units’. The HSE website has full information about the range of services available in Nenagh, Ennis and St John’s Hospital, including contact numbers for people who may wish to call ahead of attending.

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