Letterkenny University Hospital is one of the most overcrowded in the country today with 40 sick patients recorded waiting to be admitted.
The latest trolley watch figures show that 16 incoming patients are waiting on trolleys, while 24 are being held in overflow wards before admission.
Management have warned patients to expect delays as they deal with emergency cases and seek to discharge patients. A flu notice has been issued to visitors who are presenting symptoms to avoid the hospital. Patients with flu are asked to phone in advance of arrival so appropriate measures are taken.
A Saolta spokesperson said: “The Emergency Department at Letterkenny University Hospital remains extremely busy today with significant numbers of patients awaiting admission to the hospital.
“We apologise to patients and their families for these delays. The Full Capacity Protocol has been implemented and all efforts continue to be made to identify patients who are appropriate for discharge.
“Management at the hospital would like to advise people who are attending the Emergency Department at Letterkenny University Hospital that they can expect delays. We would like to remind the public that we encourage them to attend the Emergency Department only in the case of real emergencies and they should contact their GP or GP Out-of-Hours service in the first instance.
“Letterkenny University Hospital again apologises to all patients and their families for any distress caused as a result of these delays.”
The Hospital is also experiencing an increase in the number of patients with flu symptoms and are reminding the public to take into account the following points if considering coming to the hospital:
- Visitors should refrain from entering the hospital if they have flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, headache, muscle and joint pains, malaise)
- Most people with flu symptoms recover in 2-7 days
- Persons with flu-like illness should Contact their GPs for advice if they start to feel worse or are 65 years or older or have a long term illness
- Children under 2 years old with flu-like illnesses should visit their GPs
- Pregnant women with flu-like illness should attend their GPs or if coming to the hospital, need to phone in advance so that appropriate measures are taken
- Remember that antibiotics do not work against the flu virus
- Get the flu vaccine (recommended e.g. in pregnancy, in >65 y.o, persons with a chronic illness, healthcare workers)
- If you have a flu-like illness: cover your nose and mouth when coughing, discard tissues in the bin immediately after use, wash hands or use alcohol-based hand rub after discarding tissue, if no tissues use shoulder/elbow to cover mouth- do not use hands