A total of 121 patients presented on Monday, including a nine-year-old boy who sustained facial injuries after his head went through the windscreen of a parked car, leaving him bleeding profusely.
After being left unattended for three hours at the department, Cathal Enright, from Kilmorna, Co Kerry, was driven to Cork University Hospital by his mother, Mairead, who said he was seen there within 10 minutes of arrival.
Ms Enright said a sign in KGH emergency department stated a minimum 10-hour wait was due to staff shortages. She claimed the department was “overwhelmed” and fell apart, but she did not hold the staff responsible.
The HSE declined to comment on the case, citing patient confidentiality.
It said the large number of patients resulted in long delays for some, adding: “KGH very much regrets this and can assure the public that everything possible is being done to minimise the delays as much as possible.”
The HSE said all patients are triaged on arrival and a clinical decision is taken to treat those in most clinical need first.
“Unfortunately, due to the large volumes of patients who presented to the Department on Monday June 8, patients triaged as less urgent did experience long delays,” said the HSE.
“Patients were advised of the wait time for those triaged as less urgent. KGH regrets this and can reassure the public that when the ED experiences such exceptionally busy periods, a number of steps are taken to minimise delays as much as possible.
“KGH works very hard to ensure the optimum care and safety of all our patients at all times.”
Local Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris, meanwhile, highlighted a number of cases of people left waiting, including an 86-year-old man and a 61-year-old woman, who had been on trolleys for 26 hours and 18 hours respectively.