Quality & Patient Safety

Ireland: Constant overcrowding puts patients and their safety at risk

Patient Safety Monitor: Global Edition, February 3, 2009

At Dublin's Beaumont Hospital, nearly fifty patients have been treated on temporary beds at one time in the emergency department (ED), according to the Daily Mail. Nurses have said the numbers are 'crippling," reports the Mail.

Beaumont, one of the country's main hospitals, has seen increasingly large numbers of patients treated on temporary beds, also known as trolleys. According to the Mail, The Department of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) blames hospital overcrowding, made worse by a winter stomach bug and an increased volume of patients at the start of January.

Earlier this month, the HSE had to suspend accepting further patients in the ED at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Co. Louth, when the amount of patients being treated on trolleys reached 40. Of these 40 patients, 15 had been waiting for three days to be transferred out of the ED to another hospital ward.

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