'Major Internal Incident' Declared At University Hospital Limerick
 Science/Medical
Monday 2nd, January 2023
Ireland Report / Story
A "major interal incident" has been declared at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) due to a "record high attendances" at UHL's emergency department.

In a statement from UL Hospital group, it was stated that an "unprecedented" number of people attending the emergency department has been driven by a surge in respiratory infections which include Covid-19, Flu and RSV.

Additional staff have been asked to present to UHL for work to help try and ease the increased number of patients.

All out patient appointments in UHL for Tuesday the 3rd of January 2023 have been cancelled.

Only urgent elective surgeries will go ahead at UHL "over the coming days".

Additional steps that have been taken to deal with the increased volume of patients includes opening of "surge beds" capacity at Ennis, Nenagh and St. John's hospitals. Beds used for day procedures are being converted into patient beds at UHL as well.

The hospital (UHL) said that, "We apologise to every patient who is currently experiencing a long wait for admission at UHL, and for the inconvenience and frustration this causes for patients' loved ones,".

"We regret the distress or inconvenience our visiting ban causes for patients and their loved ones, but it is necessary given the high levels of flu and Covid-19.".

Visiting restrictions have also been implemented at UHL due to the "high number of patients with flu and Covid-19, and a number of ongoing outbreaks".

The only exceptions to the ban are as follows:
  • Parents visiting children in hospital
  • People assisting confused patients (e.g. dementia)
  • People visiting patients who are critically unwell or at end of life (on a case-by-case basis)
  • All these exemptions are limited to one person per patient only.

A protocol to stop ambulances being sent to UHL was activiated today and these ambulances were diverted to the nearest alternative hospital.

UHL has stated that the most critically ill patients, for example, suspected heart attack and stroke would still be brought to UHL.

Is this just the start, or the peak of the winter triple hit of respiratory conditions?
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