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Freeze puts Emergency depts under major pressure
[Posted: Tue 07/12/2010 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]
Emergency departments (EDs) are struggling to cope with the large number of injuries caused by the current bad weather spell.
According to the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine (IAEM), with the beginning of a thaw followed by intense freezing, ‘underfoot conditions have significantly worsened', resulting in large numbers of people presenting to EDs with fractures and dislocations. There have also been a high number of head and chest injuries.
Figures released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Oragnisation (INMO) show that as of this morning, 373 people were waiting on trolleys in EDs nationwide, including 55 in Cork University Hospital, 36 in Tallaght Hospital and 28 in Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown.
The IAEM pointed out that falls in icy conditions tend to be heavy and result in greater degrees of bone and joint trauma than ‘normal' falls. As a result, many patients require surgical intervention rather than treatment in plaster alone.
"The increased number of patients needing surgical procedures on the background of bed closures throughout the country has resulted in worsening overcrowding in already overcrowded EDs, where patients who have been admitted for surgery are obliged to wait in the ED with other admitted inpatients pending allocation of a hospital bed," the IAEM explained.
It is warning the public that waiting times to be seen are likely to increase nationwide and those who require hospital admission ‘are likely to spend a significant period of their admission on an ED trolley'.
In view of the potentially life changing implications of a serious fracture or dislocation, the IAEM is reminding the public of the importance of trying to avoid sustaining an injury in the first place. It advises the following:
-Οnly go outside when absolutely necessary and dress appropriately for the weather.
-Ηave appropriate footwear with a good grip.
-Walk slowly and carefully, bearing in mind that ice is not always visible.
-Do not walk with your hands in your pockets.
-Do not use a mobile phone when walking, as this will cause an inability to get an arm out to break one's fall and may result in a more significant head or chest injury.
|Anonymous Posted: 14/12/2010 09:23|
-Οnly go outside when absolutely necessary - good advice but for the vast majority of the country who need to get to work, a daily commute to and from IS neccessary.
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