Dr Damien Ryan: 'The injury unit in Nenagh hospital provides an efficient and reliable service to patients'
A total of 8,250 patients attended the injury unit in Nenagh Hospital by the end of October 2018, an increase of 11.1 per cent on the corresponding period last year.
Some 8,700 patients attended the unit for all of 2017.
The figures were released this week by University Hospital Limerick Group of which Nenagh is a member.
“The injury unit in Nenagh hospital provides an efficient and reliable service to patients coming to hospital with minor injury.
“There is a doctor and advanced nurse practitioner on duty who will reliably assess your injury, order imaging where appropriate and arrange follow-up care where necessary,” said Dr Damien Ryan, consultant in Emergency Medicine, UL Hospitals Group and Nenagh Injury Unit.
Dr Ryan encouraged people to consider using the unit instead of ED at University Hospital Limerick.
Units can treat patients with broken bones, dislocations, sprains, strains, wounds, scalds and minor burns that are unlikely to need overnight admission to hospital.
Staff members take x-rays, reduce joint dislocations, apply plaster casts and treat wounds by stitches or other means.
They provide swift access to tests and x-rays and some have rapid access to physiotherapy services.
They are staffed by consultant-led teams of doctors, advanced nurse practitioners, nurses, radiographers and physiotherapists.
Patients can go directly to the unit or be referred by a GP.
“If a patient in an injury unit needs to be admitted to hospital they will be referred directly to a linked hospital, in exactly the same way as if they had attended the hub Emergency Department,” said Dr Gerry McCarthy, consultant in Emergency Medicine and clinical lead of the National Emergency Medicine programme.
In many cases the average time for seeing and treating patients is between one and two hours, and sometimes less, so patients can save themselves long waiting times by attending injury units instead of EDs when it is appropriate to do so, he said.
Attendences at Nenagh continue to increase.
The unit is open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm.
There is no charge for patients with full medical cards or those patients with valid medical / GP referral letter.
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