Overcrowding at hospitals forced critical ambulances to wait up to 14 hours in some areas across the country.
hile average turnaround time is currently close to an hour – twice longer than the HSE target – possibly several hours in some of the hardest hit areas. It comes as the number of Covid-19 patients in the hospital has increased again.
The ambulance turnaround time is calculated from the moment the vehicle arrives at the emergency room until it is ready to accept a new call.
One hour is twice the time that HSE sets as a goal.
However, the resurgence of the trolley crisis in recent months is leading to a return to the massive pre-pandemic delay, where ambulances had to sit and wait until a patient was able to recover. Can be loaded onto a trolley.
John McCamley of Siptu, the union that represents ambulance staff, said the increase in patients joining A&Es is having an impact.
He said the number of calls to the national emergency operations center for ambulances in January rose to 31,115.
This compares to 25,658 in 2019. Last month, calls rose to 23,776 from 22,529 in the same month in 2019.
Mr McCamley said: “It is fair to assume that any increase in call volume would have a knock-on effect on ambulance availability. “But this, combined with delays in emergency departments, has put additional pressure on the service and ambulance crews.”
So far this year ambulances have been held three times in seven to 14 hours at Letterkenny General Hospital. They were delayed by four to five hours on eight occasions at the University Hospital of Waterford.
And at Sligo hospital, ambulances were held for four to five hours in five cases.
Mr McCamley said the hospital’s emergency department had become a “bottleneck” to broader problems in the health service. Serious problems needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency, he added.
Mr. McCamley pointed to shortages of radiologists and porters that could slow the flow of patients through A&Es.
There is also a problem with more than 500 patients who cannot be discharged because they do not have the necessary step-down supports, including home care.
Last month, nearly 10,000 patients were loaded onto trolleys – up from 8,515 in the same month before the pandemic.
Hardest hit are University Hospital Limerick, University Hospital Cork, University Hospital Letterkenny, University Hospital Galway and University Hospital Sligo.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization (INMO) collects figures that say “we know if a patient sits in a stroller for more than five hours, it can have a significant impact on health and mortality.” their death”.
“State agencies – such as the Ministry of Health, Hiqa and HSE – need to step up their responsibilities and take decisive action,” it added.
Other Hospitals Under severe pressure last month were St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny, Tipperary University Hospital and Mullingar Hospital.
HSE, in its service plan for this year, said it will continue to invest in community care to enable patients to access the support they need and reduce the burden on A&Es. It says that “as we move care to the community, the records of patients presenting to emergency departments are likely to have increased severity of illness.”
However, the reality is that after the worst of the pandemic, many patients – including many elderly people – turn to emergency departments in ill health and require longer hospital stays.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/ambulance-delays-of-up-to-14-hours-as-overcrowding-and-covid-19-take-toll-41459750.html The ambulance was delayed up to 14 hours due to overcrowding and Covid-19 tolls