Jump in patients treated on trolleys across hospitals
The numbers on trolleys across the country rose yesterday to almost 500 with emergency departments suffering serious overcrowding.
Some 95 of the 463 patients on trolleys were distributed across wards in a bid to ease congestion.
The worst hit was Beaumont Hospital in Dublin where 48 were on trolleys. A spokeswoman for the hospital said Monday had the highest daily number of attendances at the department in the past 18 months, almost double the average rate.
"In line with the age profile of the area served by the hospital, where one in three residents are aged over 65 and living alone, Beaumont is also seeing a high volume of older people attending the emergency department," she said.
"This includes a growing number of patients presenting with respiratory and influenza symptoms."
Tallaght Hospital emergency consultant Dr James Gray said more of the 463 patients on trolleys in emergency departments should have been moved to wards.
Other hospitals that suffered overcrowding included St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda and the Mater Hospital in the capital.
Health Minister Leo Varadkar, who visited six hospital emergency departments on Monday, said efforts were being made to ease overcrowding by reducing admission of patients from waiting lists and monitoring discharges in order to keep as many beds free as possible.
The advice to people is to contact their GP. If possible, GPs are asked not to send patients to emergency rooms unless absolutely necessary.