Endoscopy suite opens at Mallow General Hospital

BILL BROWNE

Published 19/12/2013 | 05:26

THE new endoscopy suite at Mallow General Hospital opened its doors this week, heralding in a new era in the history of the North Cork facility.

THE new endoscopy suite at Mallow General Hospital opened its doors this week, heralding in a new era in the history of the North Cork facility.

The suite, part of the much heralded €4.5 million capital investment programme at the hospital, incorporates two procedure rooms, a first stage recovery room and a discharge lounge.

Patients are referred for an endoscopy by their GP or consultant for the investigation of symptoms including bleeding or vomiting.

The endoscopy is performed as a day procedure where a narrow tube with a camera at its end is passed into an organ such the stomach or colon to view the inside.

The following kinds of endoscopies can be performed at the MGH: a gastrocopy (upper intestine) sigmoidoscopy colonoscopy (lower intestine) and bronchoscopy (lung and airways).

The suite has the capacity to treble the number of endoscopies performed at the hospital annually from 1,000 to 3,000.

The opening of the new facility is part of a major reorganisation of facilities at hospital, which has already seen the establishment of a 'local injury unit' (LIU) and 'medical assessment unit' (MAU), both of which are open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm.

The LIU treats patients over the age of five, for minor injuries with staff able to take x-rays and apply stitches and plaster casts.

The MAU treats patients referred directly by their GP or Southdoc, who complain of breathlessness, chest pain or blackouts.

They are seen within an hour of arrival by a senior doctor who has ready access to diagnostics such as x-rays, blood tests and scans.

The director of nursing at MGH, Mary Owens, said more than 3,000 patients had been seen at the LIU and more than 3,500 at the MAU since they opened in March of this year.

"The feedback from patients has been highly satisfactory," she said.

Consultant physician and clinical lead for the new endoscopy unit, Dr Neil Cronin, said its opening was the culmination of years of preparatory work.

"The management team is pleased that the new build is now complete and brings the re-organisation of services at the hospital near to completion," said Dr Cronin.

"The hospital is now in a very strong position to continue delivering healthcare services to benefit patients, staff and the local community in Mallow and north Cork," he added.

Corkman

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