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Tag Archives: health

‘Urgent action’ required to tackle UHL overcrowding

THE standard of public health care in the Mid-West was brought into focus again last week, as the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation reported 126 patients being treated on trolleys on a single day at University Hospital Limerick. It claimed that this was the largest number seen at any Irish hospital since the INMO began keeping track in 2006. In a statement it said that the Limerick figure was more than 28% of the total number of patients on trolleys across the country. The INMO Assistant Director of Industrial Relations, Mary Fogarty said, “The fact that we are seeing a record number of patients on trolleys in University Hospital Limerick on April 21 means that the bed management system is completely broken.” She claimed that the situation was taking a toll on staff. “INMO members in University Hospital Limerick are reporting significant work-related stress due to the persistent overcrowding and inability of provide appropriate care to all admitted patients. They …

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HIQA monitors UHL but Clare TD seeks wider review

THE Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is closely monitoring the overcrowding situation at UHL, a Clare TD has been assured. Following a request from Deputy Michael McNamara for an inquiry into the ongoing overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has written to him and said the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) are looking at the situation. In a letter to Mr McNamara the Minister said, “With regard to your suggestion of an inquiry, HIQA has advised that they are closely monitoring the overcrowding situation in a number of hospitals including at Limerick over the last number of weeks. “With respect to Limerick in particular – HIQA has also been in recent correspondence with the Hospital Group CEO to seek further information and assurances from them relating to their evaluation of the current factors influencing crowding in the emergency department. “The resultant evaluation which HIQA received is very comprehensive and strongly highlights the Hospital Group’s view …

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Update to vaccination programme

HEALTH Minister Stephen Donnelly has announced an update to the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme. In light of the increasing prevalence of the Delta variant and the risks associated with it, the National Immunisation Advisroy Committee have recommended that those aged 18-49 years can opt for an adenoviral vector vaccine (AstraZeneca and Janssen) in order to gain earlier protection. Younger age-groups who do not wish to receive an adenoviral vaccine will be offered an mRNA vaccination in due course. Consent mechanisms will be put in place by the HSE to ensure that anyone under 35 years of age wishing to avail of earlier access to vaccination through the administration of an AstraZeneca or Janssen vaccine is appropriately informed of the rare side-effects associated with the adenoviral vector vaccines. People in this group will also be advised about the probable timing of the availability of mRNA vaccine for their age group when considering this accelerated option. People in Ireland aged 18 – 34 …

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Clare heart failure patients urged to embrace free supports

THE estimated 1,800 people living with heart failure in Clare are being urged to embrace a wide range of supports to help them manage the chronic condition. The Irish Heart Foundation is at the centre of a national drive to provide vital back-up to patients who need help coping with the illness. “People often feel shock, trauma and isolation after a diagnosis of heart failure, but with the right supports, it is manageable,” said Lucinda McNerney, the Irish Heart Foundation’s Heart Failure Programme Manager. “We want to let these patients in Clare know that we are with them on that journey, in terms of counselling, online meetings, a Nurse Support Line, exercise classes, newsletters, a podcast series and peer-to-peer support to help them to keep well, both physically and mentally. “We have patients in our network aged 30 and above, whose daily lives have changed – their work status, having to take medication, dealing with lower energy. All this can …

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New clinic to set lymphoedema treatment blueprint

CLARE will provide a “blueprint” for the rollout of Lympoedema Specialist Clinics across the country with the first service of its kind in primary care being piloted in Ennis. The Lymphoedema Specialist Clinic in Clare is opening to support and manage people with this progressive, disabling chronic condition. Lymphoedema is a chronic long-term condition that causes swelling in the body’s tissue. This can lead to pain and a loss of mobility. Lymphoedema can severely impact quality of life and lead to complications if not diagnosed early and managed correctly. The new clinic, opening on May 10, will bring together a nurse, physiotherapist and a therapy assistant to offer lymphoedema assessments, treatment and supported self-care. The clinic will also provide treatment for lipoedema which requires similar management to lymphoedema. The service will be accessible for people in the county of Clare, population 118,800, where there is a potential 308 lymphoedema patients. Children and young people with lymphoedema will also be seen …

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Proposals for expanded services at Tier 2 hospitals, including Ennis General

THE HSE has confirmed it is considering proposals to expand the level of services delivered from Tier 2 hospitals including Ennis General. This comes as the combination of overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick and the Covid-19 pandemic has been described as “a catastrophe waiting to happen” by chair of the special Oireachtas Covid-19 committee Deputy Michael McNamara. Liam Woods, HSE national director of acute operations appeared before the committee where Deputy McNamara asked about the potential for increasing services at Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s in Limerick. Deputy McNamara outlined that, “Limerick consistently has the highest numbers of people on trolleys”. Mr Woods acknowledged that there has “been a demand and supply mismatch”, and that a number of developments have been directed at growing and improving capacity. He continued, “Hospital beds are not the solution in isolation in the health environment. In fact, excess focus on hospital beds as against community investment will lead to an ineffective situation. From our …

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“He died in our arms but we were at peace at that stage”

JUST two months ago, Kilmurry McMahon based couple Joe and Gemma O’Gorman lost their little baby boy, nine-week-old Mícheál. At Gemma’s 32-week scan they were told of an anomaly, and within hours of his birth he was having seizures while at five days old his parents were told he had a suspected genetic condition.  After a number of weeks of treatment in hospital his parents did finally get to bring him home, and he died in their arms on March 31. In honour of their son’s memory Joe and Gemma are walking the length of Route 66, which spans the USA, and has a total distance of 3,669.8km. They plan to complete the challenge by January 23 of next year, when Míchaél would have celebrated his first birthday. They have a GoFundMe page and at the time of writing donations were approaching €10,000, way ahead of an initial target of €1,000. When baby Mícheál passed, the lockdown was still in its …

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Al-Anon helping those close to alcoholics

IT is believed that an alcoholic typically has a significantly negative impact on around ten people around them. Given the amount of people with drink problems around, it’s clear that a huge minority in society have felt the effects of others drinking and Al-Anon is in existence to help people in this position. Seanie, a Clare man in his early 30s, says that he started going to deal with problems in his own family. “People go to Al-Anon looking for a way to stop the craziness of alcoholism in their own lives, looking for a list of things to do to stop the person drinking. In my own case the person was going to AA, but behaving like a dry drunk which means behaving like an alcoholic with bad behaviour. Having blowouts, fighting, being unreasonable, carrying on as if they were drunk, but they are carrying on like that while being sober.” He knows all about the plight of being …

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