An orthopaedic surgeon has urged people to avoid DIY projects and possible injuries until the health service overcomes the Covid-19 outbreak.
Dr Aaron Glynn, an orthopaedic surgeon at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, has warned people who find themselves at home because of Covid-19 restrictions not to attempt "dangerous work" or DIY projects.
He said there have been numerous attendances at under pressure trauma centres with DIY-related injuries, especially falls from ladders.
“We see it in springtime every year. The first sunny weekend, everyone takes out the gardening equipment and we usually see a lot of hand injuries from power tools and people trying to clean out gutters and they fall off the ladder,” he said.
"It is important to take extra care given the pressure on the health service due to the Covid-19 crisis," he said.
The health service will face further pressure in the coming months as it deals with the backlog of cancelled appointments and procedures, Dr Glynn said.
“That workload is going to be there waiting for us when this epidemic is over. We’re not going to be able to operate on everything that comes in.
"As this crisis deepens we are going to have to be selective about the trauma we treat,” he said.
He expects to see trauma care and other services curtailed as the healthcare system continues to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak.
"We’re going to have to weigh up the risks and benefits of bringing patients into hospital and potentially infecting them or them potentially infecting other people," he said.
"There is going to have to be some very hard decisions made over the next weeks and months as to what we treat and don’t treat."
Trolley figures decrease
Meanwhile the number of patients on hospital trolleys has seen a significant fall since the Covid-19 outbreak took hold.
In February, more than 10,000 patients were on trolleys, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).
This declined to 3,100 in total in March, according to the INMO.
On March 3, there were 509 patients on trolleys across Irish hospitals but this fell to a record low of 12 patients on trolleys today.