Emergency Departments across the country were coping with a big rise in trolleys today as overcrowding saw up to forty patients in one hospital waiting for a bed.
There were 445 patients on trolleys this morning - a higher than normal figure for a Monday.
University Hospital Limerick had 40 patients on trolleys, more than half of whom were squeezed into the Emergency Department.
Cork University Hospital was forced to appeal to patients to go their GPs if possible.
A spokeswoman said its Emergency Department was extremely busy and had 420 new patients presenting between Friday and Sunday for review and treatment.
Of these, 165 patients required inpatient admission.
“It is projected that 200 patients will present to the emergency department today for review and treatment.
“Due to this increased level of activity and subsequent admissions, it is regrettable that some patients will experience delays in the emergency department
“Patient care is paramount at Cork University Hospital and this situation is being treated as a priority by hospital management who has taken steps to address this issue.
“Hospital management have requested that, where appropriate, the public contact their GP in the first instance and explore all other options available to them prior to attending the emergency department if their needs are not urgent,” she added.
Other hospitals which were under pressure included Beaumont in Dublin, Letterkenny General and University Hospital, Limerick.