'No Visitor' restriction in place at St Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny until further notice

Hospital is experiencing increased incidences of patients with flu

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

St Luke's Hospital.

In order to protect patients and members of the public from further infection, a 'No Visitor' restriction is in place at the local hospital

A 'No Visitor' restriction has been put in place at St Luke's General Hospital from 2pm today until further notice.

The hospital is experiencing increased incidences of patients with flu in the hospital, and in order to protect patients and members of the public from further infection, a 'No Visitor' restriction is in place. Today's figures from the INMO show that 30 patients are on trolleys and wards at the Kilkenny hospital.

The No Visitor restriction will remain in place until further notice. The Ireland East Hospital Group has said that St Luke’s apologises for the inconvenience to patients and visitors and thanks the public for their cooperation at this time. The care and safety of patients, staff and members of the public are in all circumstances the hospital’s most important priority. 

"Visiting may still be permitted in special circumstances. However, visitors should contact the hospital directly beforehand if they have a query in relation to this," says the IEHG.

"Management would ask that, where possible, patients with flu-like illness/ cold symptoms telephone their GP/or pharmacist in the first instance to seek the best advice, rather than presenting at the hospital. In addition, people due to attend the hospital for an outpatient clinic appointment during the current week who may have symptoms of flu are advised to check with the hospital before attending as an appointment may need to be rescheduled in order to prevent the further spread of flu to both patients and staff."

People in high-risk groups are again encouraged (if they have not already done so) to avail of the flu vaccine from their GP or pharmacist. High-risk groups are:

All those aged 65 years and older;
People including children with chronic illness requiring regular medical follow-up such as chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, chronic neurological disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders and diabetes;
Those with lower immunity due to disease or treatment and all cancer patients;
All pregnant women. The vaccine can be given safely at any stage of pregnancy;
Those with morbid obesity i.e. Body Mass Index ≥ 40;
Residents of nursing homes, old people's homes and other long stay facilities;
Healthcare workers and carers of those in at risk groups.

The symptoms of influenza usually develop over a matter of a few hours and include a high temperature, sore muscles, dry cough, headache and sore throat. This is different from the common cold, which tends to come on more gradually and usually includes a runny nose and a normal temperature.

Those individuals in the ‘at risk’ groups can get the vaccine for free as they are at much greater risk of becoming seriously unwell if they catch flu, with many ending up in hospital. Most people, unless they are in an ‘at risk’ group, can get better themselves at home. Advice, tips, information and videos on getting over flu and other common illnesses are available at a new HSE website, www.undertheweather.ie.

Anyone who gets flu should stay at home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and use over-the-counter remedies like paracetamol to ease symptoms. Anyone in one of the high-risk groups should contact their GP if they develop influenza symptoms. If you need to visit your GP or the Emergency Department, please phone first to explain that you might have flu.

Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough and sneeze, disposing of the tissue as soon as possible and cleaning your hands as soon as you can are important measures in helping prevent the spread of influenza and other germs and reducing the risk of transmission.