Parents told to hold children in their arms to free up space in the emergency department 1 week ago

Parents told to hold children in their arms to free up space in the emergency department

"Winter levels of activity being experienced since September"

Ireland's healthcare services are already under huge pressure and strain after dealing with multiple waves of Covid infections since last March.

Frontline workers are exhausted and under a level of stress that we can't even begin to understand.

Our children's hospitals are now experiencing a surge in patients with seasonal viruses.

The increase in admissions has been described as winter levels.

According to The Irish Independent, hospitals in Crumlin, Temple Street, and Tallaght are all experiencing a rise in patients with respiratory syncytial virus and other winter bugs.

Urgent care departments in Connolly Hospital and Blanchardstown have also seen a rise in patients.

“The children’s hospitals are extremely busy, with winter levels of activity being experienced since September,” a source told the publication.

“We are managing increased demand on services, within a Covid setting, with very challenging infrastructure in some of our hospitals and the added challenge of reduced staffing levels due to illness."

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“In order to safely manage all patients in the emergency departments and urgent care units, and to avoid overcrowding as much as possible, families of children with minor and less urgent complaints are advised to see their GP or out-of-hours service and local pharmacy first.”

It is believed parents were told to leave their buggies in another room and hold their children in their arms to free up space in the emergency department.

Parents have been advised to keep children with flu-like symptoms at home and treat them with rest, fluids, and pain medication if needed.

Any parent with concerns about their child's symptoms has been urged to take them to their nearest emergency department.

Most children will contract Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) by the time they are 2.

It causes infections of the lungs and respiratory tract.

RSV tends to cause cold-like symptoms including a runny nose, dry cough, and low-grade fever.

However, in more severe cases it can cause pneumonia or bronchiolitis.

Most children recover within two weeks.