Covid/influenza surge forces hospitals to introduce restrictions

As hospitals all over Ireland introduce restrictions due to overcrowding, the HSE is warning anyone attending their local Emergency Department (ED) with a less urgent condition that they are going to face an exceptionally long wait for care. The HSE is urging less sick people to first consider Local Injury Units, GPs, out-of-hours GP services and pharmacists. University Hospital Limerick is facing a huge surge in demand, due to Covid and influenza, and, as well as a ban on visitors, the number of outpatient clinics has been dramatically reduced as the hospital prioritises care for inpatients and patients attending the Emergency Department. Appointments for cancer services, dialysis, paediatric outpatients and the Acute Fracture Unit are unaffected.
Cork University Hospital is also under severe pressure due to the spike in covid/influenza cases, and again the public is asked to consider other alternatives before visiting the hospital’s Emergency Department.
“Keep children at home”
As schools and creches reopen this week, Chief Medical Officer Professor Breda Smyth has urged parents to keep their children at home if they are sick or displaying new symptoms of illness. “If your child has any new-onset, flu-like symptoms such as congestion, cough, runny nose or high temperature, parents should if possible keep their children at home from school or childcare facilities for at least 48 hours after their symptoms have fully or substantially resolved,” she said.