Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.07 14 Mar 2019


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The Health Service Executive (HSE) has said it is bracing for "a particularly busy time" this St Patrick's weekend.

It said emergency departments and the National Ambulance Service will be under particular strain, especially as the holiday falls over a weekend period.

The HSE has said all patients who present to emergency departments will be seen and treated, with the sickest and most urgent patients being prioritised.

However, it said patients presenting with non-urgent injuries may face longer waiting times, depending on the number of patients attending and the severity of patient illnesses.

It added that the number sporting events and leisure activities this weekend "tend to drive traffic towards the health services".

Dr Gerry McCarthy is HSE emergency medicine programme lead.

He said they are "asking that people stay safe, and this is especially true when alcohol is involved.

"We see a lot of people presenting with injury or illness having had too much to drink and unfortunately that can put additional pressure on the system.

"Our wish is for everyone to enjoy the weekend and we hope you won't have to come and see us."

"Unfortunately, as in previous years, we expect to see a significant number of patients presenting due to alcohol related injuries and illness.

"We know that most of these cases could have been avoided so we are asking everyone to be mindful and if they are drinking alcohol to be aware of the dangers and consequences of too much alcohol."

St Patrick's weekend is also a busy time for the National Ambulance Service.

Director Martin Dunne explained: "Typically NAS will see an increase in callouts to alcohol and other related incidents.

"We remind people that, just because you are brought to hospital in an ambulance, it does not mean you will be seen quicker at the emergency department.

"Whilst we fully appreciate that this is a very special celebratory weekend in our national calendar and we appreciate that everyone will want to enjoy their weekend to its fullest, however we would appeal to everyone to do so in a safe and enjoyable way."


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Dr Gerry McCarthy Emergency Departments Hse Martin Dunne National Ambulance Service St Patrick's Day St Patrick's Weekend

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