Nearly 640 patients on trolleys, according to nurses

Surge in emergency departments numbers linked to longer-than-anticipated flu season

 

There were nearly 640 patients on trolleys in hospital emergency departments and on wards awaiting a bed on Monday, nurses have said.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said the worst affected centre was University Hospital Limerick where 65 patients were deemed to require admission by doctors waiting for a bed.

The INMO said there were 11 children on trolleys waiting for admission at the Children’s University Hospital in Temple Street and a further seven children on trolleys at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin.

Overcrowding in hospitals countrywide has worsened again in recent weeks.

The Health Service Executive has attributed the surge in numbers presenting at hospital emergency departments over the last fortnight or so to a longer-than-anticipated flu season.

Waiting for a bed

The INMO said there were 638 patients on trolleys and on wards on Monday.

This was virtually identical to the figures released by the organisation last Monday when there were 643 people waiting.

The organisation said that on Monday there were 52 patients waiting on trolleys or on wards at University Hospital Galway and 48 at Cork University Hospital.

In Dublin nurses said there were 41 patients waiting to be admitted to a bed at Tallaght Hospital and 39 at St Vincent’s University Hospital.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said there were 39 patients on trolleys and on wards awaiting a bed at the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore, 34 at Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan and 31 at the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar.

Last week the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, which is the HSE’s specialist agency for the surveillance of communicable diseases, said flu infections have remained at “sustained high levels” for seven successive weeks.

It said there was widespread activity still being reported at a time when levels are normally expected to drop