Letterkenny University Hospital
The full capacity protocol remains in place at Letterkenny University Hospital and a high number of people are attending the emergency department.
There is also an increase in the number of patients attending the hospital with flu symptoms.
A statement issued on behalf of the hospital reads: "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."
Among the measures being taken to relieve pressure on the emergency Department are: the transfer of appropriate patients to community care settings, communication with GPs to ensure patients are referred to ED only where appropriate and extra ward rounds.
The public should attend the emergency department in the case of real emergencies. People should contact their GP or GP Out-of-Hours service in the first instance.
Many patients are presenting at the hospital with flu symptoms.
Members of the public are urged to take the following points into consideration should they visit the hospital:
1. 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)
2. Most people with flu symptoms recover in 2-7 days
3. 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
4. Children under 2 years old with flu-like illnesses should visit their GPs
5. 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
6. Remember that antibiotics do not work against the flu virus
7. Get the flu vaccine (recommended e.g. in pregnancy, in >65 y.o, persons with a chronic illness, healthcare workers)
8. 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
9. 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.
Letterkenny University Hospital again apologises to all patients and their families for any distress caused as a result of these delays.