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Possible A&E at Letterkenny hospital by weekend

Fire officers bring sand bags into the new multi million euro Emergency Department after flash floods in Letterkenny. Photo: Donna McBride

Fire officers bring sand bags into the new multi million euro Emergency Department after flash floods in Letterkenny. Photo: Donna McBride

THE Manager of Letterkenny General Hospital told a press conference today (Tuesday) that he hopes to have the old Medical Ward 3 operating as an Emergency Department towards the end of the week.

This is contingent on mobile radiography and MRI scanning equipment arriving from the UK and Europe and being set up in the hospital campus.
Mr Sean Murphy said the hospital lost 40 per cent of its operating capacity following Friday evening’s devastating floods.

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Instead of being able to take 1,600 outpatients a week, the hospital has made arrangements for two thirds of these to be seen elsewhere or their appointments postponed.

The only inpatients being accepted at the hospital are in maternity and in paediatrics where there has been a GP referral.

The 350 day cases the hospital would normally handle each week has now been reduce, however 120 cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and 200 patients receiving dialysis are still being treated at the hospital.
Mr Murphy paid tribute to staff, emergency services, local business people and the many volunteers who helped out when the new €22 million medical unit was flooded with contaminated water.

“I want to thank everyone who rallied to support us. The staff were tremendous – evacuating not just the emergency department but also coronary care in 90 minutes with no mishaps.

“I would ask patients for their understanding as we try to get services up and running again,” Mr Murphy said.

Patients needing emergency care from the south of the county will be taken to Sligo General Hospital while those in the north of the county will be taken to Altnagelvin in Derry.
He added that engineers were reviewing the cause of the flood.

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