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HSE orders 100,000 extra flu vaccines

Meanwhile, Fine Gael’s health spokesman has warned that overcrowding in hospitals will cause infections to spread rapidly and will gravely endanger the lives of the seriously ill.

Image: Nerissa's Ring via Creative Commons

THE HEALTH SERVICE Executive has ordered an extra 100,000 doses of the seasonal flu vaccine, as increasing cases of swine flu are reported around the country, according to RTÉ.

Rates of swine flue are expected to continue rising and those in high risk groups, such as the elderly of those with reduced immunity to infection, have been urged to receive vaccinations as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael Health Spokesman Dr James Reilly has said that overcrowding in emergency rooms across the country will lead to the rapid spread of infectious illnesses, including the H1N1virus. He said that seriously ill patients were being put at enormous risk after “an unprecedented number of people are being left for days on trolleys and plastic chairs”, he added:

Acutely ill patients who have been left waiting in overcrowded emergency departments are at enormous risk of contracting swine flu, posing serious risk to their lives.

Specifically, patients whose immune systems have been compromised because of cancer treatments, or who have cystic fibrosis, are being left sitting on chairs in overcrowded conditions, for prolonged periods, in close proximity to patients with swine flu.

Reilly called for the opening up of closed wards to deal with the crisis, “even if they have to be staffed by agency personnel on a temporary basis”.

Last Wednesday, a record number of 568 patients were being accommodated on trolleys in the hospitals across the country.

Some 13 people have died from swine flu in Northern Ireland since November. There have been no recorded deaths in the Republic.

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