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Ennis injury unit to play ‘key role’ during Covid-19

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Ennis General Hospital’s injury unit is to play “a vital role” as the Emergency Department at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) for the treatment of Covid-19 cases and seriously ill patients during the ongoing public health emergency.

As de-escalation of the region’s main acute hospital continues in anticipation of the Covid-19 surge, all patients with minor injuries, such as suspected broken bones, cuts, bruises, sprains and strains will be redirected to the Injury Units in Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s for treatment.

To support this redirection of minor injury work, the injury unit at St John’s is moving from five-day to seven-day opening. From this weekend, Saturday March 28th, the facility will open from 8am to 7pm on weekends. And with effect from this Wednesday, March 25th, the unit’s weekday opening hours will also extend, with the facility open until 7pm every day.

Dr Gareth Quin, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at UHL and St John’s Hospital Injury Unit, encouraged patients with minor injuries to attend the Group’s Injury Units. “Our teams of highly experienced doctors, Advanced Nurse Practitioners and nurses, radiographers and physiotherapists, can deliver expert care and treatment for a wide range of injuries including broken bones, dislocations, sprains, strains, wounds, scalds and minor burns.”

Outside the Injury Units’ opening hours, patients with minor injuries may defer care to the next day, or attend UHL, where they will be seen and treated in a part of the hospital outside of the Emergency Department. All query Covid-19 patients will be managed in the ED at UHL. However, the ED will not be providing a swabbing service. The only patients being swabbed in the Emergency Department will be those sick enough to require hospital admission.

Dr Quin reassured the public that patients with heart attacks, strokes and other serious illnesses and injuries will continue to be treated in the ED at UHL. “We know that the focus of the entire health system in the coming days, weeks and months will be on dealing with coronavirus. However, we want to reassure the people of the Mid-West that patients requiring emergency treatment for heart attacks, strokes and other serious illnesses will continue to be treated to the best of our ability in the Emergency Department at UHL,” he said.

He concluded: “The last few weeks have seen enormous levels of planning and preparation for the anticipated surge in Covid-19 related illnesses, and we all stand ready to provide every patient who needs our service with the best care possible.”

The Injury Unit at St. John’s Hospital can be contacted on 061-462303. The Injury Unit at Nenagh Hospital is open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, and can be contacted on 067-42311. The Injury Unit at Ennis Hospital is open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, and can be contacted on 065-6863121. For further information, visit www.hse.ie/injuryunits for further information.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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