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Dublin’s three children’s hospitals appeal for families to stay away from emergency departments

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
Dublin’s three children’s hospitals appeal for families to stay away from emergency departments

Managers at Dublin’s three children’s hospitals appealed for families to stay away from emergency departments this weekend as they were overwhelmed by what they described as unprecedented demand.

The Children’s Hospital Group, which represents the Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin; the Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street and the National Children’s Hospital in Tallaght urged families to instead bring their children to their family doctor before going to the hospital.

The Children’s Hospital Groupsaid the demand was due to an increase in patients presenting with respiratory infections, particularly babies and young children.

A spokeswoman for the children’s hospital group said the hospitals were “experiencing unprecedented demands for admissions to inpatient beds this week.

“Of particular note is an increase in patients presenting with respiratory infections particularly in younger children and babies,” a spokesperson stated.

She added: “The hospitals wish to apologise to any patients who may have an increased wait to be admitted and are making every effort to improve the situation.

 “The children’s hospital group is working closely with the clinical directors and hospital management in the three hospitals to ensure that every effort is made to manage this situation.”

By yesterday afternoon the surge in demand for admissions to the three children’s hospitals had eased significantly, hospital officials said.

For Temple Street it was the second time this week that it has had to close its emergency department, after going “off-call” to ambulances following an electrical fault on Tuesday.

As a safety measure, all scheduled surgeries, which included 14 day cases and three in-patient cases, were postponed.

Four elective MRI scans were also postponed although the hospital said that emergency surgeries would go ahead.

Temple Street said that the temporary power failure continued to demonstrate the need for a new children’s hospital.