A midwife had a knife held to her throat by a robber who broke in to a Dublin maternity hospital.
The terrifying attack took place in a restricted area of the Coombe Women and Infants Hospital in the early hours of last Thursday.
The midwife, in her late 20s, is understood to have caught an intruder in the act of stealing her bag.
She tried to pull the bag away from him but the thug took a knife out of his pocket and held it up to the victim's throat.
He then fled the scene with the bag.
It is understood that an internal review of security at the hospital has been launched after it emerged that a key code is needed to gain access to the room where the robbery took place.
The suspect, who was wearing a blue and red Adidas hoodie, entered the south inner city maternity hospital at around 2am on Thursday. He then entered a restricted staff area.
A source told the Irish Independent that the review into the incident was already under way.
The source added that staff were also being advised to take precautions when in the hospital.
"He pulled the knife on the nurse in an area that you can only get in to with a code, and officials are trying to figure out how he made it in," the source said.
"Emails have been circulated to staff in relation to keeping windows closed, but it's not known if he definitely went in that way.
"This situation could have been a lot worse.
"The area isn't directly connected to the ward but if he got into that staff area, he could have gained access to a maternity ward."
It is understood that the midwife was not physically injured during the incident, but has been left deeply upset at what happened.
A spokesman for the Coombe Hospital confirmed last night that it was carrying out its own investigation into the incident.
"An investigation is ongoing into an incident that occurred in a building adjacent to the hospital on Thursday morning, September 27," the official said.
"As the building does not contain inpatient facilities, mothers and babies were not at risk."
No definite suspect has yet been singled out in the case but efforts are being made to identify people of interest.
A Garda spokesman confirmed yesterday that officers at Kevin Street station were carrying out an investigation to trace the robber.
"No arrests have yet been made and investigations are ongoing," the spokesman said.
The Coombe, which has been operational for more than 200 years, provides care for women, mothers and infants in the Greater Dublin Area as well as at regional and national levels.
It is one of the largest providers of women and infant healthcare in the country and more than 700 medical professionals work at the hospital.
More than 10,000 pregnant women receive care from the Coombe every year, while over 1,000 infants are admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Centre and over 8,000 adult operations are performed.