CUH 'bursting at the seams': Cork second only to Dublin for Covid cases

Consultant in Emergency Medicine at CUH Professor Conor Deasy said that staff are trying to contend with winter illnesses, cancers, traumas, heart attacks and strokes, as well as Covid-19
CUH 'bursting at the seams': Cork second only to Dublin for Covid cases

Consultant in Emergency Medicine at CUH Professor Conor Deasy said that staff are trying to contend with winter illnesses, cancers, traumas, heart attacks, strokes and other illnesses while at the same time treating those who become very sick due to Covid-19.

A consultant working in the emergency department at Cork University Hospital (CUH) has said that the hospital is “bursting at the seams”.

Consultant in Emergency Medicine at CUH Professor Conor Deasy said that staff are trying to contend with winter illnesses, cancers, traumas, heart attacks, strokes and other illnesses while at the same time treating those who become very sick due to Covid-19.

He said that it is an extremely difficult time for all those working within the health service.

“Our numbers attending the Emergency Department are at an all-time high – some related to Covid, but most are patients suffering illnesses and accidents typical of a society that is back functioning near normally again.

“Patients attending the Emergency Department are experiencing very long waits to be seen by doctors.

“The hospital is bursting at the seams with emergency, theatre, ward and intensive care staff working extremely hard,” he said.

Prof Deasy called on the public to comply with the public health guidance and measures in order to stay safe.

“We are all committed to serving the public as best we can and we ask the public to help us by complying with public health messages to stay safe,” he said.

His comments come as a total of 30 patients were hospitalised with Covid-19 in CUH, as of 8pm on Saturday.

According to the HSE’s latest Covid-19 daily operations update for acute hospitals, there were six Covid patients in intensive care at CUH.

CASE NUMBERS

Cork recorded 2,689 Covid-19 cases in the seven days up to November 4 — the second-largest number of cases after Dublin — and the seven-day incidence per 100,000 population was 495.3.

There were a total of 4,331 cases recorded in Cork in the 14-day period from October 22 to November 4 and an incidence rate of 797.8 over the same period.

In Cork seven local electoral areas returned an incidence rate of Covid-19 that was higher than the national average of 695 according to the latest figures released by the national Covid-19 data hub.

Prof Deasy highlighted the challenges in keeping patients and staff safe from contracting the virus.

“Keeping patients and healthcare staff safe from contracting Covid from each other is very challenging when the community incidence is as high as it is and physical space and staffing are so stretched,” he said.

His comments come as 924 healthcare workers contracted the virus in the 14-day period from October 22 to November 4, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre’s latest report on the epidemiology of Covid-19 in Ireland.

A total of 36,589 cases of the virus were reported nationally in the same 14-day period.

In a statement released yesterday, CUH management said that the emergency department (ED) had been “exceptionally busy over the past number of weeks”.

“Due to this increased level of activity and subsequent admissions, it is regrettable that some patients may experience a delay in the ED.

“The increase in attendance is due to the large number of very ill medical patients requiring admission,” the statement read.

Hospital management requested the public to, where possible, contact their GP or SouthDoc in the first instance and explore all other available options before going to the ED if their needs are not urgent.

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