People are being urged to consider using Nenagh Hospital due to large numbers in Limerick
UL Hospitals Group is urging members of the public to consider all care options before attending the Emergency Department (ED) at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) due to high volumes of patients, including many unwell elderly patients with medical conditions, who have presented to the ED over recent days.
"We are sorry that any admitted patient faces a long wait for a bed and we are working to ensure that all patients continue to receive expert medical care while they are waiting," they said in a statement.
There were 23 patients waiting for a bed at University Hospital Limerick this Wednesday morning, the second highest in the country, with none in South Tipperary General Hospital.
A spokesperson said that UHL had opened surge capacity at UHL and were appropriately transferring patients to other hospitals in the group, and to the non-acute Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) at the University of Limerick.
"The public have an important role to play in helping us to ensure the ED is prioritised for the most seriously ill and severely injured people who need it most. People must consider all care options available to them before they attend ED, including their family doctors, out-of-hours GP services and local pharmacies," they said.
Injury Units are staffed by consultant-led multidisciplinary teams, and can treat patients over the age of five for a wide range of minor injuries, including broken bones, dislocations, sprains and minor burns. The only exceptions are patients with serious head, back and neck injuries, abdominal (stomach) pain, medical illnesses or mental health problems, and children under the age of five.
All three units are open seven days a week. Attendance costs €75, and there is no charge for patients with full medical cards, or those who have a valid medical / GP referral letter.
The IU at Nenagh (open 8am-8pm) can be contacted on 067-42311.
The spokesperson sad that was imperative that the Emergency Department was for emergencies only and patients presenting to the department with a minor injury may be redirected to one of the Injury Units.
Patients may also be redirected to the medical assessment units in Ennis and Nenagh.
In all emergency cases where a patient is seriously injured or ill or worried their life is at risk, they should call an ambulance or present to the ED.