24 May 2022

Covid-19 A&E plea to public from hospital doctor in Laois and Offaly

coronavirus covid-19

Dr Sean O'Rourke Emergencine Medicine Consultant at Portlaoise and Tullamore hospitals

A doctor has urged not to delay seeking treatment in a hospital emergency department (ED /A&E) during the Covid-19 emergency.

Dr Sean O’Rourke is the Emergency Department Consultant, Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore and Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise.

“We also want to reassure people that all EDs check patients for symptoms of Covid-19 on arrival. After this initial assessment, patients are divided into two separate treatment pathways/tracks i.e. one track for patients with symptoms suggestive of COVID 19 and a separate track for those who require treatment for other urgent conditions. This is to ensure proper infection control and to minimise the spread of the virus.

“The message from our EDs is if you or someone else needs urgent care please go to your nearest Emergency Department immediately or dial 999/112 for emergency care. Please do not delay seeking treatment. EDs always prioritise the sickest patients first for treatment” he said.

The HSE added that it is also concerned about people putting off attending hospital appointments even when the hospital team has contacted them and advised that they need to attend.

“If you have an urgent or time-critical hospital appointment, please attend as advised by your hospital. If you are worried or have concerns, please phone the hospital staff. Please do not delay getting your treatment and attending your appointment as advised by your hospital team,” it said.

The HSE also commented hospital support for nursing homes through the Area Crisis Management Teams.

“Significant challenges are now presenting in these units. We are continuing to work collaboratively with our CHO 8 Partners.

“These units care for the most vulnerable in our society. We need to maintain these residents within the most appropriate setting that best meets their needs with safe staffing levels and expert support of our hospital outreach teams which are all working and engaged with the units. The Nursing Home Temporary Support Scheme will provide financial support and this is also welcome support,” said the HSE.

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