Monday 16 October 2017

Patient locked in lift in hospital power cut needed resuscitating

Beaumont Hospital
Beaumont Hospital

Eilish O'Regan and Ryan Nugent

A patient who was locked in a lift during a power blackout in Beaumont Hospital had to be given emergency resuscitation, the Irish Independent has learned.

The hospital's generator failed to kick in for several hours last Sunday after supply from the national grid was disrupted.

The hospital, which is a major centre for neurosurgery and cancer, was plunged into crisis for most of that morning.

It is understood the lift where the man and several staff were trapped had to be manually opened half-way between floors.

Twelve men were involved in transferring him to theatre.

A spokeswoman for the hospital yesterday confirmed that shortly after 11am on Sunday it lost electricity from the national grid.

"Emergency processes were put in place and while there was disruption to the running of the hospital, no patient or staff were compromised," she said.

It is understood ­ventilators which support patients' ­breathing had to revert to ­battery power.

However, these batteries only have a certain timespan and the concern was that the generator would not be activated in time.

The hospital's Emergency Department went off call for a period, but went back on call in the afternoon.

The spokeswoman for the hospital declined to comment on any patient being trapped in a lift.

Ambulances were diverted to the Mater and Connolly Hospitals.

The hospital's own generator was activated in the afternoon.

Several staff who were off duty came into the hospital to support services.

One described the back-to-basics approach as akin to returning to the era of Florence Nightingale.

Staff have yet to get a collective briefing on the incident.

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