Total ban on visitors in place at University Hospital Limerick

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Email:

david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

Total ban on visitors in place at University Hospital Limerick

Visiting has been banned at University Hospital Limerick

A COMPLETE ban on visitors has been put in place at University Hospital Limerick as the hospital continues to manage high volumes of patients with influenza.

As flu can be carried in to the hospital, the UL Hospitals Group says it is necessary, with immediate effect, to impose the strict restrictions.

“We apologise for any inconvenience or anxiety the restrictions may cause patients and their loved ones. However, these measures are being taken in the interests of patient safety and we appeal to the public for their co-operation at this time,” said a spokesperson.

The only exceptions to the visiting ban are people visiting patients who are at end-of-life, critically ill and confused patients (e.g. dementia). Parents visiting paediatric patients are also exempt. The visiting ban also includes the emergency department at UHL.

Members of the public are also reminded not to bring children on visits anywhere in the hospital.

“Infection prevention and control measures are in place and every effort is being made to manage and contain the spread of the flu. However such is the volume of patients with flu and flu-like symptoms, we are cohorting these patients where no isolation facilities are available,” said the UL Hospitals Group in a statement.

While the predeominant strain is influenza, a small number of patients have become seriously ill, including some who have required treatment in the intensive care unit.

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.

“This peak in flu activity coincides with what is traditionally a busy New Year period in our hospitals. UHL has been experiencing a high number of patients attending the ED in recent days.  We have admitted a lot of seriously ill patients , many of who remain in the ED awaiting a bed,” said a spokesperson for the UL Hospitals Group.

Members of the public are also being advised to think about all their care and treatment options and keep ED services for the patients who need them most.  Patients with limb injuries can attend the Injury Units in Ennis, Nenagh or St John’s Hospital. while others with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or out of hours GP service.,