UHL emergency department under pressure

UHL emergency department under pressure


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

UL Hospitals Group has issued an urgent reminder to members of the public to consider all their care options before presenting to the Emergency Department at University Hospital Limerick today.

In recent days, the ED has seen high volumes of patients attending, including many frail elderly patients requiring admission. In the 24-hour period up to 8am today (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.

In a statement this morning, a spokesperson for ULHG said: “At 8am this morning there were 35 admitted patients in the ED waiting were a bed. In addition there were a further 23 patients in our 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. Every effort is made to ensure physical distancing is maintained and to keep wait times to a minimum.  All patients continue to receive expert medical care while they wait.

We expect that the ED will be busy throughout the day and is reminding members of the public to consider all their care options before presenting to the department.

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. More information on our Injury Units is available here.”

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2020

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.

However, if you are seriously injured or ill or are worried your life is at risk the ED will assess and treat you as a priority.

ULHG said: “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.”

Need information and advice on COVID-19? Go to www.hse.ie/coronavirus