Leicester

Leicester hospital operations cancelled because of flu

Hospitals in Leicester have cancelled some operations because of the growing number of patients admitted with flu.

Hospitals have postponed 10 non-urgent elective operations and 26 cardiac patients at Glenfield Hospital have had non-emergency surgery postponed.

Leicester Hospitals NHS Trust said intensive care beds needed after some operations are being used to treat swine and seasonal flu patients.

A spokesman said postponed surgery will be rescheduled as quickly as possible.

Swine flu

Leicester Hospitals' Chief nurse Suzanne Hinchcliffe said: "Because of an increase in emergency admissions and more patients coming to us with respiratory illness, including H1N1, we need to balance our elective and emergency work to make sure we have enough intensive care beds.

"Whilst we understand that this can be frustrating for our patients we hope they understand that as a hospital offering emergency treatment our priority has to be our sickest patients."

Glenfield Hospital's Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Unit is used to treat some of the most seriously ill respiratory patients in the country, including those with seasonal and H1N1 Swine Flu viruses.

ECMO helps patients whose lungs or heart are not working normally and uses an artificial lung to oxygenate blood outside the body.

Eleven people have died from flu nationally in the past week.

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