University Hospital Galway is dealing with a rapid increase in COVID-19 positive admissions this week, while also seeing very high numbers of attendances through the Emergency Department.
The hospital is currently treating 65 patients with COVID-19 – an increase of 15 patients since Monday.
There are two patients with COVID-19 in ICU today and three wards in the hospital are dedicated to COVID care.
In addition to the impact of COVID-19, the Emergency Department is also extremely busy.
Very high numbers are attending the Emergency Department for treatment and people are experiencing long waiting times on trolleys before being admitted to a bed on a ward.
This pressure on bed availability is impacting scheduled elective care; some elective procedures are being postponed and patients will be contacted directly if their procedure is postponed.
The hospital acknowledged that delays in the Emergency Department and postponing procedures are very difficult for patients and their families and has apologised for the inconvenience and distress these delays cause.
Visiting hours are from 2pm to 4pm and 6pm to 8pm. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation the hospital is advising that the number of visitors per patient is kept to a minimum with no more than one visitor per patient at any one time at the bedside.
For COVID-19 wards the following will apply: Access for visiting is limited to one family member / nominated person per patient per day and all visits must be pre-arranged by the family members / nominated visitor, who should contact the relevant ward or unit in advance.
For the safety of patients at UHG, the hospital urged visitors to use hand gel regularly, wear a mask at all times, and not to visit the hospital if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with anyone with COVID-19.