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High volumes of patients presenting to UHL emergency department

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University Hospital Limerick is experiencing a “very busy” emergency department today (Wednesday) with staff appealing to the public to consider all care options before travelling to the Dooradoyle facility.

High volumes of patients including many frail elderly personnel have been attending the ED in recent days. In the 24-hour period up to 8am on July 15th, a total of 215 patients attended the Emergency Department. There were 232 attendances in the previous 24-hour period. The average number of daily attendances during 2019 was 195.

At 8am this morning there were 35 admitted patients in the ED waiting for a bed. In addition there were a further 23 patients in two assessment units waiting for admission. The majority of these patients are in single rooms or assessment bays. A total of 8 of these patients were on trolleys on corridors between these three locations, a spokesperson told The Clare Echo “every effort is made” to maintain physical distancing.

Injury units in Ennis and Nenagh are open from 8am to 8pm, and St John’s is open from 8am to 7pm. Injury Units are for the treatment of broken bones, dislocations, sprains strains, wounds, scalds and minor burns. Members of the public with a less serious illness can contact their GP or out of hours GP service.

Patients with symptoms of COVID-19 must contact their GP by phone in the first instance and not present in person at the GP surgery or the ED.

“We regret that any patient faces a long wait time for a bed and clinicians are currently undertaking additional ward rounds to identify patients suitable for discharge or transfer. Measures being taken to relieve pressure on the ED and as part of our escalation policy also include the transfer of appropriate patients to community care settings and maximising access to homecare packages and transition care; working closely with Community Intervention Teams to provide antibiotics and other appropriate care in a patient’s home or care facility and communication with GPs to ensure patients are referred to ED only where appropriate,” a spokesperson for UL Hospitals Group outlined.

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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