The Emergency Department at University Hospital Galway is extremely busy today with many patients waiting on trolleys for long periods of time.
At 2pm this afternoon, 53 patients were on trolleys waiting for a bed at the hospital.
The shortage of beds has meant that a number of elective procedures are being postponed, and patients affected by this are being contacted directly.
The hospital says there has also been a ‘significant increase’ in Covid admissions and attendances, as well as high volumes of non-Covid patients.
A flu outbreak is currently impacting two wards at UHG and a Covid outbreak is affecting two further wards.
Visiting to the affected wards is limited to compassionate grounds only and these visits should be arranged in advance with the nurse manager on the ward.
Given the severe impact of both Covid and flu on patients, the hospital is appealing to the public not to visit the site if they have symptoms.
Flu is more severe in people aged 65 years and over, pregnant women, and anyone with a long-term medical condition.
Anyone carrying the flu virus can spread it for one to two days before developing symptoms and up to five days after symptoms develop.
The hospital acknowledges that these delays are very difficult for patients and their families and has apologised for the inconvenience and distress caused. All available beds in the hospital are in use.
The hospital is committed to treating everyone who presents at the Emergency Department. People who are seriously injured or ill are assessed and treated as a priority and those who do not require urgent care may be waiting longer.
If your health problem is not an emergency you should contact your GP during normal surgery hours or the Westdoc GP out of hours service, in the first instance.
For minor injuries, the Injury Unit in Roscommon University Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm every day to treat a range of injuries in both adults and children over five years of age.