HSE says injury units are good for all good sports

Dr Damien Ryan, consultant in emergency medicine and clinical director for urgent and emergency care at UL Hospitals Group.

IT’S all fun and games until somebody gets hurt. And when that happens, the HSE and Sport Ireland have teamed up to let people who suffer injuries in their favourite sport know there are quick ways to get back on their feet.

The HSE has teamed up with Sport Ireland and its network of local sports partnerships to raise awareness of HSE injury units in the Mid West and the expertise they offer.

Dr Damien Ryan, consultant in emergency medicine and clinical director for urgent and emergency care at UL Hospitals Group said that “during the summer, we typically see an increase in people coming to the injury unit with broken bones, sprains, and other injuries that occurred during sports and outdoor activities, like injuries to ankles, wrists and fingers”.

“We are partnering with Sport Ireland to highlight the excellent service provided by the experienced doctors, advanced nurse practitioners, and nurses at the three injury units here in the Mid West – your first port of call for sports injuries.”

Locally, UL Hospitals Group has launched an initiative with GAA clubs across Limerick, Clare, and Tipperary to promote injury units in the Mid West.

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The group has also partnered with public libraries. Both the GAA clubs and libraries are displaying information posters and sharing information about injury units on their social media to raise awareness of the units and their benefits.

HSE injury units treat non-life-threatening injuries such as breaks, sprains, and strains, from knees to toes and from collarbone to fingertips. They also treat dislocations and minor burns.

Expert clinical teams take X-rays, apply plaster casts, and treat wounds with stitches or bandages. They can provide swift access to tests, refer patients to specialist care, and arrange follow-up appointments where necessary.

Patients attending St John’s, Ennis, and Nenagh units are usually in and out of the unit within two hours. This wait is typically much quicker than attending a busy emergency department (ED), where patients with more serious illnesses take priority.

Injury units are unable to treat serious head, back, or neck injuries, abdominal (stomach) pain, medical illnesses, or mental health problems. Patients with urgent and life-threatening injuries should still go to the ED.

Injury Units do not require appointments and are free with full medical cards or with a valid medical/GP referral letter. The cost otherwise is €75.  To find out more, visit hse.ie/injuryunits.