Emergency Department

This service provides direct access for patients referred from the ED to Physiotherapy. Physiotherapy services are provided to patients presenting to the Emergency Department with respiratory, neurological and musculoskeletal disorders. Patients presenting with acute respiratory conditions such as exacerbations of COPD and respiratory infections can benefit from physiotherapy in the ED. Physiotherapists access and manage patients presenting to the ED with acute neurological conditions such as stroke or head injuries from trauma. Physiotherapy assessment and intervention is provided to patients presenting with falls and/or impaired mobility.  Patients presenting with acute dizziness from condition such as BPPV or inner ear issues benefit from physiotherapy treatment. ED Physiotherapists also treat patients with acute musculoskeletal conditions such as fractures, low back pain, neck pain, radiculopathy and soft tissue injuries.

The role of the physiotherapist

Physiotherapists work as part of the Emergency Department MDT providing assessment, treatment, discharge-planning and onward referral as required. The ED physiotherapist aims to facilitate safe and timely discharges from the ED for patients who are medically fit and, where possible, provides early intervention for patients who may require subsequent hospital admission. Timely assessments and interventions are carried out to assist patients with acute respiratory conditions which may include oxygen therapy and respiratory machine set up. Early physiotherapy intervention is provided to patients with impaired mobility. Specialised vestibular assessments and treatments are carried out for patients presenting with acute dizziness. The ED physiotherapist also educates, prescribes individualised exercise programmes and provides mobility aids for patients with acute musculoskeletal injuries. Appropriate follow up physiotherapy is arranged if necessary.


Additional physiotherapy services available:

Follow up physiotherapy is provided in hospital outpatient departments or primary care centres which is organised by the ED physiotherapist. A virtual low back pain class is available for patients with low back pain. There is also an emergency department outpatient clinic available for follow up physiotherapy for musculoskeletal injuries. Specialised vestibular rehabilitation services are available for patients in our physiotherapy department.


Useful Resources

  •  https://emed.ie/Patient-Info/Docs/Advice-Back_Pain_20190218.pdf
  • https://emed.ie/Patient-Info/Info_Rib_Injury.php
  • https://emed.ie/Patient-Info/Info_Falls_Prevention.php
  • https://vestibular.org/