independent

Monday 16 September 2019

Risk of infection in hospitals a cause for 'grave concern'

THE IRISH Association for Emergency Medicine has warned that 'the doubling of the number of new cases of swine flu in the past week at a time of unprecedented numbers of patients on trolleys and chairs awaiting hospital admission in emergency departments is a cause for very grave concern'.

'It is inevitable that cross infection with the H1N1 virus will occur in the country's overcrowded emergency departments where the basic facilities to isolate patients with this condition do not exist and excessive numbers of ill patients, many of whom are in the high risk groups for adverse outcomes from H1N1 infection, are cohorted together,' the statement said.

'This scenario will result in death and adverse outcomes for vulnerable patients, an outcome which is all the more tragic as the situation is both foreseeable and preventable,' said the association, which is calling on the Minister for Health Mary Harney and the HSE ' to immediately mandate the removal of admitted inpatients from the country's emergency departments so that the risks of this and other contagious diseases are minimised'.

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