RECORD high attendances at the emergency department in University Hospital Limerick (UHL) over recent days have led hospital management to declare what they term as ‘a major internal incident’.
The unprecedented level of attendance is driven by a surge in patients with respiratory infections, including Covid-19, flu and Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Extra staff, including nurses and doctors, have been asked to present to the hospital for duty where they are being redeployed to care for additional patients in the emergency department.
Day beds are being converted to inpatient beds at UHL while additional surge beds are being opened in Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s Hospitals.
A ward at Croom Orthopaedic Hospital is being converted for medical patients and there is a heightened focus on discharging patients to home and community care.
Only urgent elective surgery is going ahead in UHL over the coming days and all outpatient appointments for UHL are cancelled for tomorrow (Tuesday).
Due to the high number of patients with flu and Covid-19 and a number of ongoing outbreaks, all visiting to UHL has been restricted.
The only exceptions to the restrictions are parents visiting children in hospital, people assisting confused patients, people visiting patients who are critically unwell or at end of life and all these exemptions are limited to one person per patient.