Elective cancellations extended to five hospitals in Mid West

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THE UL Hospitals Group has announced widespread deferrals of elective activity across five of its six sites in the Mid West region, due to a surge in emergency presentations and an increase in Covid-19 activity.

It extended cancellations at University Hospital Limerick, and announced new deferrals at Ennis, Nenagh, St John’s, and Croom Orthopaedic which will be reviewed early next week.

51 patients were on trolleys in corridors in UHL’s Emergency Department and on its general wards this morning.

According to the HSE, there was zero availability of general beds or beds in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

81 Covid patients – including six patients in ICU – were being treated at UHL.

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A hospital spokesman said it remained at “its highest level of escalation, meaning emergency and time-critical care for the sickest patients is being prioritised”.

A visiting ban remains in place at UHL and Nenagh Hospital, however visits of one person per patient were being facilitated for parents visiting children; for people assisting confused patients; and for people visiting on compassionate grounds; for example, for patients who are critically unwell or at end of life.

Scheduled care was operating as normal at University Maternity Hospital Limerick.

While region’s only 24-hour emergency department at UHL remained open for emergency cases and emergency and trauma surgery, the hospital urged people “to first consider the care options in their own communities, including family doctors, out-of-hours GP services, local pharmacies and local injury clinics”.

“Following a meeting of the Hospital Crisis Management Team today, the decision has also been made to defer, effective from Monday, March 28, almost all scheduled care at Ennis Hospital, Nenagh Hospital, St John’s Hospital and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital,” said the spokesman.

“This includes all patients planning to attend these hospitals for outpatient appointments, elective surgery (day case and inpatient) and endoscopy. Patients are advised not to attend for their appointments unless contacted directly by staff and advised otherwise,” he said.

“Almost all elective activity at UHL, including outpatient appointments, elective surgery and diagnostic investigations, remains deferred until further notice as the hospital manages a sustained surge in emergency presentations, a significant increase in Covid-19 activity and an increase in the numbers of staff unavailable related to Covid-19.”