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Consultant hits out at 'third world' facilities

tallaght Hospital is practising "third world medicine" by using "decrepit" machines to monitor patients' vital signs, a leading A&E consultant has claimed.

Dr James Gray, who made the comment, described the situation as "unsustainable" and "untenable".

"We're practising third-world medicine here in Tallaght Hospital in the emergency department, having old, decrepit machines," he said.

The company that manufactured the monitors have not made parts for them since 2011, Dr Gray added.

dormant

"The suppliers for those machines have stopped supplying parts this year. We've got engineers in the hospital, medical technical experts, who are running around trying to get machines fit for purpose by cannibalising other machines that are lying dormant," he said.

"It's an absolute disgrace. These guys are performing miracles. These are the MacGyvers of Tallaght Hospital.

"They're taking bits out of machines to put in other machines to keep those machines alive," he added.

But Dr Gray said: "It is unsafe because those machines are hooked up to patients who are critically unwell and we rely on those machines to monitor vital signs such as pulse rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation.

"It just beggars belief that we're in a situation where we got machines like this that are being kept alive basically by the expertise of my colleagues."

In response, Tallaght Hospital said: "Tallaght Hospital has a rigorous maintenance programme in place for all equipment in the hospital, including the Emergency Department.

vital

"This programme operates seven days a week and encompasses scheduled checks and maintenance by hospital engineers - with higher frequency checks carried out on all vital life-saving and life-sustaining equipment in high dependency areas.

"Tallaght Hospital, including the Emergency Department, is a safe hospital and patients should feel reassured of that.

"Separately, Tallaght Hospital has undergone a significant capital investment programme within the last four years which included an investment in excess of over €10m in new facilities and medical equipment."

comurphy@herald.ie


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