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MUH emergency department extremely busy

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EXTREMELY BUSY An average of 130 people attended MUH’s emergency department daily last week.


Oisín McGovern

NINETEEN people were on trolleys waiting for a bed in Mayo University Hospital yesterday (Monday), which is reporting long wait times at its emergency department.
Access to visitors remains suspended as MUH grappled with large numbers of Covid-19 cases over the weekend.
On Friday, there were 73 cases in the hospital with outbreaks affecting three different wards.
In a statement, Saolta Hospital Group said patients can expect ‘significant delays’ in being allocated a bed.
An average of 130 people attended the MUH emergency department each day last week.
Of the 19 patients waiting for a bed in MUH, four were on trolleys in wards while 15 people were waiting in the emergency department. Hospital visits will still be allowed under compassionate grounds.
“Every effort is being made to discharge patients who were ready to go home so that beds become available for patients who need to be admitted, at the earliest opportunity,” Saolta said.
“The hospital is postponing elective procedures due to bed capacity challenges. Urgent, time sensitive cases are being prioritised. Patients are being contacted directly if their procedure is being postponed. All outpatient appointments, ambulatory cases and scopes are proceeding.
“The hospital acknowledges that these delays are very difficult for patients and their families and apologises for the inconvenience and distress these delays cause.
“The hospital is asking the public to contact their GP during normal surgery hours or the Westdoc GP Out-of-Hours service in the first instance if their health problem is not urgent.
 “For minor injuries, the Injury Unit in Roscommon University Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm every day to treat a range of injuries in both adults and children over five years of age.”
HSE CEO Paul Reid said that hospitals across the country were under ‘huge stress’.
Of the 1,624 people in hospital with Covid-19, 800 were admitted for other reasons, Mr Reid said.

Caution urged
Elsewhere, the Irish Hospitals Consultants Association (IHCA) has urged the public to exercise greater caution with high levels of Covid-19 infection in the community.
In a statement, the IHCA said treating Covid patients and Covid-related staff absentees were having a knock-on affect on overall quality of care.
“Once again, the massive capacity deficits in our public hospitals means that they cannot cope with the high number of people currently presenting at our emergency departments and the surge in Covid activity in hospitals, without having to cancel essential scheduled surgeries, diagnostic investigations, and outpatient appointments. This cannot be the go-to solution to our hospital capacity deficits,” the IHCA said.
“There is continuous commentary about the health service being under pressure but other than short-term, unsustainable solutions, like cancelling scheduled essential care, not enough is being done to actually increase our public hospital capacity and put in place sustainable solutions to ensure the provision of timely care to patients as needed. Cancelling essential surgeries will only increase record waiting lists even further.
“We recognise the need, after two years of the pandemic, to manage living alongside Covid-19, but at this point we should be in a much better position in terms of having the required hospital capacity to meet the current demand for care. However, in the absence of Government action to increase our public hospital capacity, the public may once again have to play its part in getting this latest surge under control.”

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