Dramatic rescue of elderly patient from hospital roof
The HSE is conducting an investigation after an elderly patient had to be dramatically rescued from a second-storey hospital roof.
The man, aged in his late 70s or early 80s, was discovered outside on the roof area of University Hospital Limerick, shortly after 11pm on Sunday.
A source said the man, a patient at the hospital, had accessed the roof through a window.
An internal investigation is underway into how the man managed to make his way on to the roof.
Limerick City Fire and Rescue Service were alerted to the incident and arrived at the hospital at around 11.20pm.
As they awaited the arrival of the emergency services, hospital staff kept the patient talking.
Four fire appliances, paramedics, hospital staff and gardaí attended the scene, located near the hospital's outpatient department.
Firefighters used a ladder to bring the man to safety just before midnight.
"It's believed the man, a patient, became disorientated on one of the wards and climbed out a window," said a source.
"The man was not injured in the incident.
"It's unclear if he meant to go out on the ledge, or if he just got disorientated and so didn't go back.
"He was sitting on the ledge talking to hospital staff when the fire service arrived.
"They used an aerial appliance to take him down and he came willingly," the source added.
"He could have been killed. He's a lucky man," the source said.
The HSE did not respond to specific questions asking how the man had gained access to the roof.
In a statement the HSE said: "University Hospital Limerick at approximately 23.15 last night (Sunday, July 5) alerted Limerick City Fire and Rescue Service to an incident where a male patient had gained access to a second floor roof area."
"Staff stayed with and reassured the patient until the arrival of fire service personnel at approximately 23.21.
"A plan was agreed which led to the safe retrieval of the patient."
The statement added: "No injuries were suffered by anybody involved in the incident, which is now under review."