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A&E overwhelmed People urged to only attend Limerick hospital emergency department with ‘serious illness or injury’

The hospital has the only 24-hour emergency department in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary.

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University Hospital Limerick

University Hospital Limerick

University Hospital Limerick

The UL Hospitals Group has urged the public to only attend the University Hospital Limerick (UHL) emergency department "in the event of serious illness or injury”.

It is the second such statement that has been issued in the past month as the hospital's A&E department is overwhelmed.

UHL’s emergency department witnessed its single busiest day up until 8am yesterday, with 283 patients in 24 hours.

According to a spokesperson for the hospital group, this is a “stark contrast” with last year’s daily average of 195.

The hospital has the only 24-hour emergency department in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary.

“UL Hospitals Group is urging the public in the Mid-West to consider all care options before attending the Emergency Department (ED) at University Hospital Limerick (UHL), which is this afternoon (Wednesday) managing an unprecedented level of presentations,” the spokesperson said.

"The ED is the Mid-West region’s main emergency treatment admission pathway for Covid-19 patients.

"By opting for alternative care pathways, including family doctors, out-of-hours GP services, local pharmacies and minor Injury Units at St John’s, Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals, people will be helping to protect the safety of the most seriously ill patients and our emergency care staff.”

The hospital group said that if the public considers alternatives for less serious injuries, they will avoid a lengthy wait in A&E.

They added: “We would also like to reassure the public that all our patients continue to receive expert medical care while they wait. Not all patients are waiting on trolleys.

"Most are in designated bed spaces (cubicles, bays and beds) in the ED (our Covid-19 emergency admission pathway), and in the non-Covid emergency admission stream of the Acute Medical Assessment Unit and Acute Surgical Assessment Unit. Admitted patients are also waiting in designated surge capacity.

“This in no way minimises the upset that people feel when they experience a lengthy wait for a hospital bed, and we apologies to those people, and their families, who have been inconvenienced at this time.”


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