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Trolleys 'overflowing' onto corridors at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital

The HSE acknowledged that the hospital was “exceptionally busy” today and said measures have been put in place to address the high patient numbers.

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE IRISH NURSES and Midwives Organisation (INMO) today called for the Major Disaster Protocol to be invoked at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda due to “severe overcrowding”.

The organisation said a total of 57 patients were waiting in the Emergency Department for an in-patient bed at the hospital this morning – the equivalent of two full wards.

Tony Fitzpatrick, Industrial Relations Officer, described the situation as “extremely dangerous” for both patients and staff.

“Staff are deeply distressed at the level of overcrowding especially as trolleys are now overflowing to the adjoining corridors,” he said this morning. “They are concerned for the wellbeing of patients and their colleagues as they endeavour to provide safe care to patients.”

He called for the hospital to be taken off call immediately and said an urgent review of bed capacity within the Louth/Meath Hospital Group and the availability of beds in the community.

Delays

In a statement today, the HSE acknowledged that the hospital was “exceptionally busy” today and said hospital management had invoked the hospital’s full scale escalation protocol.

Staff are working with senior clinicians to utilise all resources effectively. This means that the most critically ill patients are prioritised for treatment and available beds. As a result some patients may experience delays in being seen and where necessary admitted; patients attending with minor injuries will experience longer wait times in the department.

All non urgent trauma patients (like those with fractures) who present to Cavan General Hospital are being held there for the present time, though they are normally sent to Our Lady of Lourdes. The HSE is also advising the public that the minor injuries unit at Louth County Hospital is open from 9am to 8pm daily and has the capacity to deal with more patients and in a shorter time period.

The public is urged to attend the Emergency Department for emergencies only and to contact their GP in the first instance.

“Hospital management wish to acknowledge the hard work, commitment and dedication of all staff at this time,” the HSE added.

Read: Tallaght hospital to recruit 29 new staff>

Read: ‘HSE says hospital overcrowding is improving, that’s not what we’re hearing’>

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