A record 28,000 people visited emergency departments in the past week as hospitals continue to struggle


HSE’s Dr Colm Henry said a record number of more than 28,000 people visited emergency departments in the past week, as hospitals continue to come under heavy pressure.

The clinical director agrees with the Irish Health Foundation’s Dr Mick Molloy’s assessment that ED overload is a “serious and persistent threat” to patients and says: “it’s something that doesn’t go unnoticed.” who wants to see.”

There were 515 patients on trolleys waiting for beds across the country as of Wednesday, according to INMO trolley tracking figures, with 68 patients at the University of Limerick Hospital alone. .

Up to 3,000 healthcare workers are currently out of work as Covid-19 has been “very frustrating” and is having a “significant impact” on managing the flow of patients through hospitals, Dr Henry said.

“We saw a record high number of ED visits in the past week, over 28,000 patients attending – that’s a new high. The conversion of these patients to hospitalization, although slightly lower, is still worrisome.

“In addition to the obvious discomfort and bad experience people can experience in emergency departments, certainly for older adults and those with chronic medical conditions it can affect the outcome of them and we don’t want to see that,” Dr Henry told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

There has been a particular jump in the presentation of older adults with ED, 30pc higher than last year, and people are presenting “probably weaker and thinner due to their experience over the past few years” . The HSE CCO says these admissions tend to be longer and more complex discharges.

Dr Henry said there had been a worrying increase in the number of people being hospitalized with the virus in recent days, but said about half of the 829 patients were incidentally positive and were mostly not sick. with Covid-19.

“Even people in the ICU with Covid, 99pc have previously fallen ill with Covid, but that number has dropped to around 57pc in recent weeks,” said Dr Henry.

The virus’s potential to cause harm has “been greatly reduced,” said Dr Henry, and the focus of HSE is now on high-risk facilities rather than mass testing everyone with symptoms.

“We focus on individual advice rather than general public health advice. Our advice to anyone is that if they have symptoms, they should isolate and isolate for less than 48 hours after the symptoms subside. We still advise that certain groups of people are at risk, older adults should get tested.

“We are now focusing on where the virus is most likely to cause harm,” said Dr. A record 28,000 people visited emergency departments in the past week as hospitals continue to struggle

Fry Electronics Team

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