Thursday 14 December 2017

'More isolation rooms needed' to cope with superbug outbreak

Tallaght Hospital
Tallaght Hospital

Ian Begley

Tallaght Hospital is not capable of dealing with the latest outbreak of an infectious superbug, according to a leading emergency medicine consultant.

A source told the Irish Independent that yesterday there were 22 carrier patients of the superbug CRE at Tallaght Hospital and 11 CRE contact patients.

In December, children were banned from visiting Tallaght Hospital over CRE fears and in September two of the hospital's wards were shut after a number of people were found to be infected by the bug.

Emergency medicine consultant at Tallaght Hospital Dr James Grey told the Irish Independent the superbug crisis the hospital faces was "compounding" the trolley epidemic.

"Tallaght Hospital needs adequate isolation beds and capacity which is sadly lacking," he said.

CRE - carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae - is immune to some antibiotics and is a major health risk to people with low immune systems.

Dr Grey said there was one "true isolation room" and the rest were cubicles at the hospital.

"These patients are isolated in cubicles and have no more than a curtain as a barrier between them and the emergency department. It's an infection control risk and the hospital isn't able to deal with this.

"This is a sad reflection on a first-world health system," he added.

A spokesperson for Tallaght Hospital was not available for comment.

Irish Independent

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