Patients urged to seek alternative care options as EDs face 'unprecedented' wave of infections

The HSE's chief operations officer said Emergency Departments are facing an "unprecedented combination of very high levels of flu, Covid-19 and other respiratory illnesses"
Patients urged to seek alternative care options as EDs face 'unprecedented' wave of infections

The HSE is appealing for people seeking medical care to use alternative pathways rather than Emergency Departments (EDs), where possible, as the health system faces "one of the busiest ever periods".

As EDs around the State come under continued strain, the HSE warned that some patients may experience significant wait times, adding "urgent patents will always be prioritised for treatment and care".

Among the alternative care options available are community pharmacies, GPs and out-of-hour GP services, in addition to Minor Injury Units.

The HSE's chief clinical officer Damian McCallion explained: "As expected, Emergency Departments are becoming extremely busy due to the unprecedented combination of very high levels of flu, Covid-19 and other respiratory illnesses in the community.

"Those who believe they may be seriously ill and require emergency care should of course come to hospital, but we would urge others to consider seeking support from pharmacists, GPs, GP Out of Hours Services and Minor Injury Units."

The HSE added that Covid and influenza cases continue to increase rapidly, while RSV notifications, which had been in decline, have started to increase again.

"Unfortunately, we expect this incline to remain sharply upwards for a number of weeks to come and to continue to seriously impact our hospitals and Emergency Departments," the HSE said.

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