THE visiting ban introduced last week at University Hospital Limerick has been lifted, however, restrictions remain in place due to seasonal influenza.
Until further notice, visiting is limited to one person per patient only and between the hours of 2pm to 4pm and from 6pm to 9pm only.
While the ban on visits introduced one week ago has now been relaxed, it is necessary to remain vigilant and restrictions remain in place.
The ban on visiting patients on Ward 4C (designated flu ward) remains in place. Until further notice, the only visitors permitted in the Emergency Department are people visiting patients who are at end-of-life, critically unwell, or confused (e.g., dementia). As above, this is limited to one visitor per patient.
UL Hospitals Group asks members of the public not to bring children on visits to the hospital at this time.
“We regret any inconvenience or anxiety these restrictions may cause patients and their loved ones,” A hospital spokesperson said, continuing, “However, these measures are being taken in the interests of patient safety. We thank members of the public for their co-operation and understanding to date”.
“Influenza continues to circulate in the community and flu notifications to the Department of Public Health in the MidWest were slightly up in the second week of the year.
“The predominant strain is influenza A. A small number of patients have become seriously ill, including some who have required treatment in the intensive care unit. This demonstrates how serious flu can be and we are encouraging members of the public, especially those in at-risk groups, to get the flu vaccine if they have not already done so”.
People with flu-like symptoms are advised to contact their GP by phone in the first instance and avoid presenting at the Emergency Department at UHL.
Infection prevention and control measures are in place and every effort is being made to manage and contain the spread of the flu.
The spokesperson noted there are currently 26 inpatients withy influenza in University Hospital Limerick but expects this figure to reduce later today.
“All current flu patients are either cohorted on a designated flu ward or appropriately isolated on other wards”, the statement concluded.