Children’s hospitals issue warning to parents attending emergency departments

Children’s hospitals issue warning to parents attending emergency departments

All three children’s hospitals in the capital have issued a warning to parents to go to their GP when possible rather than bringing children to emergency departments.

The warning comes after an increase in a dangerous respiratory virus in the hospitals, with the number of reported cases increasing at the National Children’s Hospital in Tallaght, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin and Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

Tallaght hospital cropped to size

Of particular note is an increase in young children and infants presenting with respiratory infections, in particular a viral infection known as RSV (Respiratory Syncitial Virus). 

While this occurs every winter, the increase in presentations at emergency departments has been more dramatic this season.

A statement released by the Children’s Hospital Group, which covers the three hospitals, said emergency departments remain open, and while this type of outbreak occurs every winter, the increase this year has been more dramatic.

The statement went on to say: “The hospitals wish to apologise to all patients and their families inconvenienced by this situation, this includes any elective or planned admissions that have had to be postponed. 

“The Children’s Hospital Group is working closely with the Clinical Directors and hospital management in the three hospitals to ensure that every effort is made to manage this situation and that those experiencing long waiting times in our Emergency Departments are managed as safely and quickly as possible 

“In order to safely manage patients waiting to be admitted, the hospitals are asking families to first go to their GP or Out of Hours GP service in order to reduce attendances to the Emergency Departments in the three children’s hospitals.

“Considering that this respiratory virus will remain at peak for the next three to four weeks, parents/guardians should also avoid bringing very small babies to social occasions where they may pick up an infection.”

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