Following the news that flu season is expected to peak this week; the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has revealed that there were 73 children left waiting on trolleys in the first two weeks of the year.
This is a first for the children’s hospitals, who have never experienced such major problems with available hospital beds.
Phil Ni Sheaghdha, who is the General Secretary of the INMO, expressed her concerns, “Exposing children to extended periods in an emergency department is unsatisfactory on many levels not least of which is the possible exposure to traumatic events."
The organisation has decided the publish the figures from the three children’s hospitals- National Children’s Hospital Tallaght, Children’s University Hospital Temple Street and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.
With the flu season at an all-time high, the HSE has urged parents to keep their poorly children at home, as germs tend to spread quicker in classrooms.
They also asked parents to be aware of the flu symptoms, so they can catch influenza as soon as possible:
- Sudden fever
- Dry, chesty cough
- Aching muscles
- Limb or joint pain
- Diarrhoea or stomach upset
- Sore throat
- Runny or blocked nose
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
Flu symptoms tend to peak after three days, but luckily people will improve after five to eight days.