Overcrowding leaves 46 children waiting for a bed as hospitals left facing renewed strain

Overcrowding has hit the country’s main children’s hospitals hard, with 46 young patients forced to wait for a bed yesterday amid signs services are under renewed strain.

is charges of medically well children had to be expedited to make more room for those coming through the emergency departments.

There were 517 patients on trolleys in adult and child hospitals across the country, including 23 in both Temple Street and Crumlin children’s hospitals.

Hospitals are trying to juggle high attendances at emergency departments with efforts to increase operations and procedures among waiting list patients.

A number of procedures had to be put on hold during the unprecedented levels of gridlock earlier this month.

Cases of flu and Covid are falling. There were 218 patients with Covid in hospital yesterday, down from 509 two weeks ago.

A spokeswoman for Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) – which includes the two mentioned hospitals – said it experienced a high number of children awaiting an inpatient bed.

“The situation is improving but remains challenging in our emergency departments,” she said. “Children are being accommodated in an inpatient bed suitable to their individual needs.

This is not only dangerous for staff and for patients, it is simply no way to safely treat sick children who are admitted to the hospital

“CHI are expediting discharges to increase patient flow across CHI sites and high numbers of children are being discharged following completion of their acute episode of care.”

She said CHI “continues to work with all agencies and to plan discharges for children that are medically ready to go home”.

“CHI continue to maintain scheduled care activities and are managing and balancing daily demands on all sites to ensure children can access elective and emergency care.”

Phil Ní Sheaghdha, of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, said: “We are seeing an unprecedented number of children on hospital trolleys. The level of overcrowding we are seeing in our pediatric hospitals is very worrying.

“This is not only dangerous for staff and for patients, it is simply no way to safely treat sick children who are admitted to hospital.

“It also places a further burden on families who have to experience long waits while accompanying a sick child, potentially overnight.”

Meanwhile, a new study shows one in four older adults over 70 attending GPs had an adverse drug reaction over a six-year period.

The study, by researchers in UCC, found taking multiple medicines is independently associated with a risk of an adverse drug reaction in general practice.

The study, published in the British Journal of General Practice, was carried out by the university’s Department of General Practice.

One-third of moderate adverse reactions resulted in additional healthcare utilization, and in some cases attendance at a hospital emergency department.

It pointed out that, as we age, many people live with multiple long-term health conditions and take multiple medicines, making clinical care increasingly complex.

Balancing benefits of each medicine against potential risks is more difficult as a person ages. Adverse drug reactions are common.

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