Winter flu and Covid putting pressure on Emergency Department

Public asked to stay away except in cases of genuine emergency

The general public are being warned of delays at the Emergency Department at Cavan General Hospital and asked not to attend except in cases of real and genuine emergency.

The General Manager of the acute hospital issued a memorandum yesterday afternoon to GPs and the general public, via the media, outlining the situation. The appeal was repeated this morning (Tuesday).

Su-Zann O’Callaghan described the ED as “exceptionally busy” and said those with “a non-urgent condition will experience very long wait times to be seen”.

Speaking to the Celt earlier today (Tuesday), Ms O’Callaghan further explained: “We are experiencing an overall increase in attendances and admission over the past few days. Our ED has seen a 25% increase in attendances year to date but, in the past few days, there has been 50% increase compared to previous years – this equates to approximately 140-150 attendances per day.

“There has been an increase in winter flu-type presentations and increasing Covid admissions.”

There are currently 13 in-patients who have tested positive for Covid at the hospital.

Several appeals have been issued by hospital management at various times in recent months.

The General Manager accepts it has become common and apologised.

“Unfortunately this sort of situation is now a frequent occurrence and we sincerely apologise for that. As always, the staff are working very hard to treat and care for those who are particularly ill.”

All measures are being employed at the hospital to ease pressure.

“The Winter Plan is having a positive effect but the significant increase in volume of presentations is causing a delay in patient flow through the ED,” said Ms O’Callaghan.

The public can help, the GM says, by seeking treatment from GPs in non-urgent cases or attend the Minor Injuries Unit in Monaghan, get the flu and Covid vaccines and boosters, support the discharge teams at the hospital and, above all, “please be patient”.