Letterkenny University Hospital is very busy this afternoon with long wait times at the Emergency Department.
It comes as there were 45 people awaiting admission there this morning.
In a statement, Management say that the hospital is currently treating a significant number of very sick patients and as a result there are fewer patients well enough to go home to free up beds for patients who are being admitted today.
In addition, the hospital is caring for an increased number of patients with COVID-19; as of 8pm yesterday there were 22 patients with COVID-19 being treated in the hospital, with two of these patients in ICU.
This pressure on bed capacity means that patients are facing long waiting times to be admitted from the Emergency Department to a bed on a ward.
The hospital acknowledges that these delays are very difficult for patients and their families and apologises for the inconvenience and distress these delays cause.
Given the volume of patients attending the Emergency Department, the hospital is asking the public to contact their GP during normal surgery hours or the NoWDOC GP Out of Hours service in the first instance if their health problem is not urgent.
The hospital is committed to treating everyone who presents at the ED; people are seen and treated strictly in order of medical priority.
As part of the hospital’s COVID-19 protective measures, patients coming to the Emergency Department are asked to:
• Wear a face covering at all times
• Use hand gel frequently
• Maintain social distancing
• Come alone to the ED – a companion is only permitted in exceptional circumstances
• Answer screening questions; and
• Take a COVID-19 test as required.