Letterkenny University Hospital is advising that people presenting to the Emergency Department are currently experiencing long waiting times.
The hospital has seen a significant increase in patients presenting to the hospital and many of these patients are very sick and need to be admitted to the hospital for treatment. In addition the hospital is caring for an increased number of patients with COVID-19; as of 8pm yesterday there were 19 patients with COVID-19 being treated in the hospital.
Management have apologised for the delays.
Patients are also currently experiencing long waiting times to be admitted from the Emergency Department to a bed on a ward.
“The hospital acknowledges that these delays are very difficult for patients and their families and apologises for the inconvenience and distress these delays cause.”
Given the volume of patients attending the Emergency Department, the hospital is asking the public to contact their GP during normal surgery hours or the NoWDOC GP Out of Hours service in the first instance if their health problem is not urgent.
“The hospital is committed to treating everyone who presents at the ED; people are seen and treated strictly in order of medical priority,” a spokesperson said.
As part of the hospital’s COVID-19 measures, patients should wait in the ED alone to help maintain social distancing. A companion will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances. This is to minimise the risk of infection and to keep everyone safe.
Patients are asked to please wear a face covering/mask when in the ED and to comply with any COVID-19 screening processes.