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Sunday 18 February 2018

Babies moved after hospital ICU fire

The Rotunda Hospital in Dublin. Photo: Garrett White
The Rotunda Hospital in Dublin. Photo: Garrett White

Robin Schiller

A fire in a hospital's Intensive Care Unit (ICU) resulted in babies being evacuated from the area as it was temporarily closed.

The small blaze was noticed by a nurse at Dublin's Rotunda Hospital, who immediately raised the alarm.

A spokesperson for the Rotunda confirmed that the blaze, which occurred in April, was caused by an electrical fault.

"Standard procedures were acted upon immediately… with no adverse effects suffered by anyone," the spokesperson told the 'Medical Independent'.

"All babies were moved out of the ICU and into the high-dependency area of our own hospital. The ICU was closed for seven days in total." The other areas of the neonatal unit "remained open and fully operational".

One baby was moved from the Rotunda to another hospital in the Dublin area. The Rotunda's neonatal unit comprises 39 cots and provides a mix of high-dependency and intensive care across a number of rooms. The ICU is "a single room containing nine cots", said the spokesperson.

A "full update" on the incident was provided at the hospital's board meeting in May and the hospital has since commissioned a campus-wide fire risk assessment.

"The hospital is still waiting for the full report from the fire risk assessment. However, all sockets were replaced in the area before it reopened and some other areas have also had remedial work undertaken since then," the Rotunda's spokesperson said.

There were 1,311 neonatal admissions to the Rotunda during 2015, according to the hospital's annual corporate report for that year, and the neonatal unit was "above the recommended occupancy levels on a regular basis".

Irish Independent

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