Advice to Families attending Emergency

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Children’s Health Ireland

Advice for families this weekend as the hospoital continues to see an increase in attendances at their Emergency Departments 

Friday 29 November 2019

Our Emergency Departments (EDs) continue to experience extreme pressures, resulting in long waiting times for non-urgent cases.  In advance of the weekend we are asking all families if their child’s care is not urgent to help us help them during this busy period in our EDs.

This morning there were 24 patients waiting for admission to an inpatient bed in EDs across the three children’s hospitals, compared to 14 yesterday morning

We would like to reassure parents and families that our EDs are open, however patients attending may experience long delays.  If your child is seriously ill or you are worried that their life may be at risk, please attend our ED and we will assess and treat your child as a priority. We are advising that any child who is 16 years of age or over should attend the adult service unless directed to a paediatric facility by a specialist team

Our staff are working hard to manage this busy period.  CHI wishes to apologise to any families who may have an increased wait for their child to be admitted and to those families whose children may have had their elective admission postponed at short notice.

CHI at Crumlin, Temple Street and Tallaght have deferred all elective admissions scheduled for today.  These are being reviewed by the hospitals each day and patients affected will be contacted directly by the hospital. 

Dr Ciara Martin, Paediatric Executive Lead, CHI says “RSV is one of many winter viruses children get. We tend to see it in the winter, with October/November and then February/March being the peak times. In many instances all these illnesses can be successfully treated at home, with a visit to the GP, pharmacist or out-of-hours GP replacing a long wait in Emergency Departments.”

‘Our advice for any child or infant who gets flu like symptoms is they should stay at home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and parents can use over-the-counter remedies like paracetamol to ease flu symptoms.  If parents are worried about their child’s breathing or fluid intake or if any young child or infant is in one of the high-risk groups and develops flu-like symptoms they should contact their GP/Out of Hours service’

Considering that this respiratory virus will remain at peak for the next three to four weeks, parents/guardians should also avoid bringing very small babies to social occasions where they may pick up an infection.

CHI continues to work closely with the Clinical Directors and hospital management in the three hospitals to ensure that every effort is made to manage this situation and that those experiencing long waiting times in our Emergency Departments are managed as safely and quickly as possible. Our hospitals have opened additional wards to help manage the current surge of admissions.

CHI operate cross city bed management for admissions from our three EDs and our Urgent Care Centre at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown to an inpatient bed. Therefore, patients who are clinically assessed as requiring treatment and care as an inpatient may be admitted to any one of our children’s hospital sites, at Crumlin, Temple Street or Tallaght which will improve the flow of patients moving through our hospitals and ensures safe, timely and efficient delivery of services to patients and their families.

Dr Martin says: “If you’re worried about your child; if they’ve got a sprain or a break, mild asthma, gastroenteritis or need a few stitches, CHI at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown is the perfect environment to bring you child for treatment’.  The Urgent Care Centre is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm’  Further information is available on https://childrenshealthireland.ie/connolly/urgent-care-centre/

See www.undertheweather.ie which gives practical, common sense Further information and advice for parents and guardians on dealing with many common illnesses like colds, flu, earaches, sore throats, tummy bugs and rashes.