UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick (UHL) will be closed to inpatient visiting for the next number of days due to multiple outbreaks of Covid-19 and influenza across the site.
There are limited exceptions to the safety measure including parents visiting children in hospital; people assisting confused patients (e.g. dementia) (on a case-by-case basis); people visiting patients who are critically unwell or at end of life (on a case-by-case basis). All exemptions are limited to one person per patient only.
Seven wards are currently affected, and on the recommendation of the UL Hospitals outbreak teams, the decision to close to visitors was taken as a precautionary measure.
A spokesperson said that all appropriate infection control precautions were being followed to minimise the risk of spreading infection among staff and patients in the hospital, and also within the wider community.
“The situation is being monitored and reviewed daily, and we will relax the restrictions as soon as it is safe to do so. We’re also asking people not to visit inpatient relatives or loved ones outdoors in the grounds of the hospital, as this can also present infection transmission risks.”
UHL also continues to experience exceptionally high attendances at its Emergency Department (ED), with daily attendances across the past week averaging approximately 232.
These patients are presenting with more severe and complex illnesses than heretofore, and a higher proportion of admitted patients are requiring longer stays for treatment and recovery.
“We continue to work our Escalation Plan in managing this continued surge in demand for emergency care, but long waits for non-urgent care in the Emergency Department are inevitable.
“For non-urgent care, people should consider all available care options, including family doctors, local pharmacies and out-of-hours GP services. Injury units in Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals are open 8am-8pm, and in St John’s 8am-7pm, seven days a week. These units are for the treatment of broken bones, dislocations, sprains strains, wounds, scalds and minor burns. More information on Injury Units is available here.
“However, please note that if you are seriously injured or ill or are worried your life is at risk, the ED will assess and treat you as a priority.”