Wednesday 19 December 2018

Storm babies: Dozens delivered in Dublin's main maternity hospitals - including one Emma

Dr Rhona Mahony in Holles Street. Photo: David Conachy
Dr Rhona Mahony in Holles Street. Photo: David Conachy

Some 52 babies were born in the last 48 hours at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) in Dublin, according to its chief doctor.

Meanwhile 30 babies were born in a 23 hour period at Dublin's Rotunda hospital, according to a spokesperson, but none named Emma.

Dr Rhona Mahony, master of the NMH Holles Street, told RTE's Ryan Tubridy that one baby has been named Emma so far - after Storm Emma.

Dr Mahony praised the staff of Holles Street for their work during Storm Emma.

While a spokesperson for the Rotunda hospital told Independent.ie that some staff members have not seen their families in three days.

"Many staff have worked over the last three nights and have not been home to their own families, which is reflective of the dedication of Rotunda Hospital staff who have acted above the norm to ensure the continued provision of safe maternity services for our patients," the Rotunda's spokesperson said.

In Cork University Maternity Hospital, 51 babies were born in 48 hours. Some 27 babies were born on Wednesday, while 24 were born yesterday while the public safety notice for Storm Emma was ongoing.

Read More: 'The snow was up to my hips... we're absolutely blessed that people helped us' - couple celebrate birth of healthy boy in blizzard

Holles Street's Dr Mahony said: "It's been amazing, particularly in the last 24 hours patients have arrived in by ambulance. We've had some contributions from the army as well, so it's been extraordinary."

"We've had staff walking two hours to work. We've had a group of midwives arrive here last Tuesday and have stayed ever since," she told Independent.ie.

"We have people coming in early for the night shift to make sure we know what the compliment (of staff) would be. Last night we had a full compliment of staff."

"Staff are extraordinary. It's just the effort that people have gone to, thinking ahead, and the thoughtfulness, and everyone helping out."

The entire hospital had to prepare for Storm Emma - from the porters to household staff, and departments like the laboratory, laundry, waste management and electricity services.

Dr Mahony added: "The big issue today is really getting people in to hospital who need to be here."

"We know that there are patients out there at the moment having great difficulty getting to hospital, and there are a couple of mothers in labour who are stranded and in a high-risk position, and trying to determine if we can move people out or get people in, so it's still tricky."

Staff at the maternity hospital, and hospitals around the country, stayed in hotels nearby so they could be near the hospital to work their shifts.

Mary Brosnan, Director of Midwifery at the NMH also praised staff at all levels for doing everything they could to help women in labour during Storm Emma.

"We're really grateful for every one of our staff who's been doing everything they can to get in today. People who are on the night shift tonight have already come in to stay so they can be here tonight."

"We're really proud of our team, from the porters to the doctors to the midwives. Everyone is working so hard."

Meanwhile, the Rotunda's spokesperson said its staff also showed their dedication during Storm Emma.

“The Rotunda Hospital has remained fully operational for maternity services over the duration of the storm. In a 23 hour period  (Thursday-Friday) there were 30 babies delivered. All Rotunda Hospital maternity services have been operating as normal to a high standard of quality care."

"This was only made possible through the excellent dedication and diligence of Rotunda Hospital staff across all disciplines, who have made themselves available to work despite the many challenges posed by extreme weather conditions."

More to follow

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