Hospital overcrowding soars back to peak crisis levels
Hospital overcrowding has soared back to peak crisis levels not seen since the first week in January.
According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), 643 people are lying in emergency units waiting for admission to a proper bed in a ward.
In the first few days of the year, traditionally the worst time for overcrowding, levels soared to more than 650.
The INMO said its headcount was at its worst in Cork University Hospital, where 59 people were on trolleys, and in the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore, where 51 people were waiting.
Others badly affected were Tallaght Hospital with 45 patients waiting and University Hospital Limerick with 42.
Some of the country's leading paediatric facilities were also affected, with five children on trolleys in Temple Street, eight in the Children's Hospital in Tallaght and two in Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin.
South Tipperary General Hospital had one child under 16 waiting in a ward for admission to a proper bed.
In total the INMO said its headcount recorded 461 patients on trolleys in emergency departments and another 182 in wards across the hospitals.