Management at Letterkenny University Hospital has retained the Full Capacity Protocol in an attempt to relieve pressure at the busy Emergency Department – where 44 patients were recorded awaiting admission today.
The hospital is experiencing high volumes of patients attending at the Emergency Department, as with many other hospitals across the country this week.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Saolta University Health Care Group apologised to all patients and their families for any distress caused as a result of these delays:
“LUH apologises for any distress or inconvenience caused to patients or their loved ones who have experienced long wait times in recent days.
“We acknowledge this is a particularly difficult situation and wish to reassure patients and their families that we are working to alleviate the situation.
“We also acknowledge the difficult situation for our staff and thank them for their continued dedication and commitment to patient care.”
The Full Capacity Protocol continues to be in place at LUH, where staff are seeking to transfer appropriate patients to community care settings, communicating with GPs to ensure patients are referred to ED only where appropriate and doing extra ward rounds.
The hospital has asked the public to only attend the Emergency Department in the case of real emergencies and they should contact their GP or GP Out-of-Hours service in the first instance.
The hospital is also experiencing an increase in the number of patients with flu symptoms and is 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
- Anyone with flu like symptoms intending to visit their GP should phone in advance so that they can be isolated / separated from the other waiting patients. Likewise if patients are being referred (self / GP / nursing facilities etc) they should ring the ED in advance of attending.