Critically ill children return to Temple Street ICU
Published 05/08/2016 | 02:30
Five critically ill children are to return to the Temple Street Children's Hospital today after they were transferred to another hospital in the middle of the night following a power failure.
The children were all patients at the hospital's Intensive Care Unit (ICU) when a fault in the hospital's electrical system at 3am yesterday caused it to switch over to an internal generator.
There was an eight-second interruption in the power supply as a result of a transformer fault in the hospital's sub station.
However, none of the children in the ICU or other "key clinical areas" in the hospital were affected by the power outage.
This is because such units have their own "uninterruptable power supply" that is separate from the main electrical system, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Four of the children were transferred to Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin, (OLCHC)accompanied by medical staff and the fifth was taken elsewhere. They are expected to be returned this morning.
Meanwhile, the hospital last night confirmed a new generator arrived yesterday evening and was to be installed last night.
The interruption of power forced the hospital to temporarily suspend all incoming ambulance cases which were diverted to OLCHC and other hospitals.
The hospital was also forced to cancel X-rays and any elective surgery as well as some "serious" non-elective surgeries that were scheduled.
It also requested parents to bring their children to other emergency departments yesterday for any cases that weren't life-threatening.
However, the hospital said it would return to normal service this morning.
Clare Treacy, industrial relations officer of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), said it was fortunate nothing untoward happened.
"The emergency generator kicked in, which was pretty standard procedure," she said.
"Obviously, it was difficult and it certainly highlights that there isn't much room to manoeuvre when all of the hospitals are at full capacity. But the emergency plan was executed effectively and the staff are to be commended," she said.