Huge numbers of people expected to miss vital hospital appointments due to hospital surge – – Our News, Your Views

Huge numbers of people expected to miss vital hospital appointments due to hospital surge

Further cancellations of operations and procedures for children are “likely” in the coming weeks according to Dr. Paddy Fitzpatrick, a paediatrician with Children’s Health Ireland.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week, Dr Fitzpatrick blamed the cancellations on a surge in the number of respiratory viral infections in the last number of weeks.

“There has been a reduction in the planned elective care of patients and it’s a regrettable situation for the organisation to be in,” he said, reports RTE.

He added that when there is a rise in the number of patients requiring emergency care changes must be made.

Dr Fitzpatrick said admissions are up on normal pre-pandemic levels by 53%.

“In the last two to three weeks we have seen a huge early winter surge of mainly respiratory viral infections,” he said, reported RTE.

The surge is being put down to what Dr Fitzpatrick describes as the “normal early childhood viruses” and other common cold virsues.

He explained the reason they are having such a large impact is because a lot of children’s immune systems have yet to fully develop as a result of Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.

“I think a lot of those things have come together to present the situation we’re facing at the moment,” he said, reports RTE.

While there are only a small number of children who require hospital admission and intensive care, Dr Fitzpatrick highlighted that CHI “have been at capacity from an inpatient and an ICU bed perspective over the last week,” reports RTE.

Dr Fitzpatrick said that last Monday CHI saw around 680 patients admitted for care across all of CHI’s sites in Dublin, with an average usually seeing between 300-400 patient admissions.

He explained that this can cause significant wait times if a patient does not need urgent treatment, with some waiting as long as 10 to 12 hours for their treatment to be completed.

He thanked parents for their patience and understanding during the current surge, and also praised staff for their work.

Dr Fitzpatrick added that a similar pattern of winter illness has been observed across the globe – from north America, to Australia, and the UK.

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