• Main Street, Collon, Co. Louth
  • info@ardeepost.com
  • Opening Time : Always Open
Ambulance Gridlock at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital: Patients Stranded as A&E Reaches Breaking Point

Ambulance Gridlock at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital: Patients Stranded as A&E Reaches Breaking Point

Hospital Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth, was overwhelmed on Tuesday, with standing room only in the Accident and Emergency Unit.

Thirteen ambulances were left stranded outside the hospital, unable to offload patients due to a lack of available trollies and beds.

Paramedics were forced to stay with patients for up to four hours, leading to a severe shortage of ambulances in the entire north-east region, rendering them unable to respond to 999 emergency calls. Most of the stranded patients were elderly individuals over 75 years old, who had called for ambulances due to a lack of access to local GPs.

A senior paramedic described the scene as unprecedented, stating, “I have never seen anything like it in all my years. This is the worst day we ever had. The hospital is bursting at the seams, partly due to the rampant spread of COVID-19 and a shortage of GPs in Louth, Meath, Cavan, and Monaghan.”

At lunchtime, there were ambulances from multiple regions including Dublin, Navan, Dundalk, Ardee, and Drogheda, waiting outside the hospital. The shortage of trollies and beds meant paramedics had to stay with their patients, unable to respond to other emergencies.

Drogheda Labour TD Ged Nash highlighted the issue in the Dáil, noting that on Monday, there were 20 ambulances at the hospital. He called for an end to the current HSE recruitment embargo, which is exacerbating the problem by preventing the hiring of 71 nurses ready to fill vacancies at the hospital.

Deputy Nash stated, “The chaos is a direct result of overcrowding at the Lourdes Emergency Department. There were 33 patients on trollies needing beds on Tuesday and 24 on Wednesday. The lack of access to beds is due to the Government’s recruitment ban. The price is being paid by the sick and the elderly, and the exhausted healthcare staff.”

He urged the immediate lifting of the recruitment ban and the swift completion of a planned new modular unit to provide additional beds.

Our Lady
Find Us On Facebook
Find Us On X
Live Chat