Hospital group warns public about delays at 'extremely busy' emergency departments

Hospital group warns public about delays at 'extremely busy' emergency departments

The South/South West Hospital Group has warned the public that emergency departments (ED) in the region are "extremely busy" and urged them, where possible, to only attend in emergency cases.

The South/South West Hospital Group (S/SWHG) has warned the public that emergency departments (ED) in the region are "extremely busy" and urged them, where possible, to only attend in emergency cases.

The hospital group has said that due to increased activity at the ED, patients may experience delays.

"The emergency departments across S/SWHG are extremely busy over the last number of days due to people presenting with Covid-19 symptoms and staff who are unavailable for Covid-19 related reasons," a statement from the hospital group this afternoon said.

The hospital group has asked patients where possible to attend their GP, SouthDoc and explore other options before attending the ED if their needs are not urgent.

The hospital group also stated that while intensive care units in the region are busy, "critical care capacity in S/SWHG is actively managed as a group resource thereby ensuring patients always have access to the best possible care setting with inter-hospital transfer as required". 

"The necessary arrangements are in place across all sites to upscale critical care capacity should that be required.

"Due to the rapid increase in the number of patients with confirmed Covid-19 being admitted to hospitals all elective work has been suspended across the group, aside from emergency surgery and only time critical elective cancer surgery are being scheduled," the statement continued.

The hospital group also took the opportunity to urge people to heed the public health advice and comply with the Covid-19 restrictions.

"Management at the hospitals acknowledge that staying at home and staying isolated will be very difficult. "Nevertheless, hospitals want to remind people again that they can save lives by staying at home and following the current Government and public health guidelines."

According to figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), 37 admitted patients were waiting for beds at Cork University Hospital (CUH) this morning - the second highest figure for any hospital in the country.

Thirteen admitted patients were waiting for beds at the Mercy University Hospital.

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