The number of patients waiting for hospital beds so far this year has exceeded 100,000 for the first time ever.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation says it is the first time this has happened since it began recording the figures in 2004.
The worst year on record before this year was 2017, which saw 98,981 patients by the end of the year.
Today, 451 patients are on trolleys and chairs across the country, which brings the 2018 total to 100,385.
University Hospital Limerick was the worst affected hospital this year, where 10,554 patients had to wait for a bed.
This was followed by Cork University Hospital (8,566), University Hospital Galway (6,821). Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore (5,362) and
Tallaght University Hospital (5,085).
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: “It’s not even December and we’ve already broken the record for the most patients on trolleys. Behind these statistics are vulnerable individual patients, forced to wait in unsafe, uncomfortable conditions.
“Adding extra beds requires extra nurses and midwives. Without addressing the recruitment and retention crisis, the HSE will not be able to recruit enough nurses and midwives to resolve this crisis,” she said.