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First look inside Mater's sparkling new 'super A&E'

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The Mater Hospital's new casualty department

The Mater Hospital's new casualty department

The Mater Hospital's new casualty department

The Mater Hospital's new casualty department

Inside the Mater Hospital's new casualty department

Inside the Mater Hospital's new casualty department

REDESIGN:Radiographer Laura Moyles with the XRay machine in the new Mater Hospital

REDESIGN:Radiographer Laura Moyles with the XRay machine in the new Mater Hospital

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The Mater Hospital's new casualty department

A complete transformation in emergency medical treatment begins in Dublin tomorrow night at the Mater Hospital.

A big and bright new casualty department with new state-of-the-art facilities will replace the cramped and dreary conditions of the old unit.

"We've been looking forward to this moment for decades," said emergency medicine consultant John McInerney.

Patients will receive treatment faster and more effectively and their dignity and comfort will be ensured in the bigger, better building.

And the dreaded waiting times are set to improve because of new medical equipment and enhanced facilities in the new waiting areas, according to staff.

Even the headaches of finding parking are being eased with 440 new spaces.

Patients, families and ambulances will all enter the new casualty complex from Eccles Street instead of the North Circular Road entrance.

 

Cramped

"The resuscitation areas are three times bigger. All the extra space and facilities will mean people are no longer all cramped up together," said Dr McInerney (44).

"Some people who tend to become agitated or aggressive in confined conditions will be calmer and less aggressive in the new surroundings.

"Intoxicated people have caused problems in A&Es but the extra space will mean they can be separated from others in a better way.

"Elderly patients will be less frightened and the noise levels will be a lot less," said the casualty consultant.

Clinical nursing manager Chris Roche said: "The protection of the dignity of patients will be improved greatly as we now have the space to give them much more privacy."

The number of treatment bays for trauma, stroke, cardiac and other emergencies have been increased from three to five.

While the number of other treatment bays has been doubled from 13 to 26 bays.

The old cubicle system that robbed patients of their privacy has been almost totally transformed. Each treatment area is more like a private room.

Even the seating area for patients and family members has been increased from 35 seats to 110 seats, which will mean people will not have to stand around.

The big increase in new toilet facilities will also make waiting more tolerable.

Emergency doctor Gerard O'Connor (38) said: "The cramped and overcrowded conditions of the past have been an absolute struggle but at last the people can get the standard of facilities that they deserve. The Mater can be a beacon in the middle of the community."

Halting the spread of infection has also been tackled with the introduction of proper ventilation systems and many more handwash sinks.

Grieving relatives will also be treated in a dignified manner with two private areas in the department reserved for them.

Nurse Elena Bordei (25) said: "We won't miss the old place although we will never forget the patients who were helped and saved there. We can't wait for this exciting move."

The emergency department at the hospital will close for a time tomorrow to enable services to be relocated to the new state-of-the-art facility.

The department will close at 4am for 18 hours and the new facility will open at 10pm that evening.

During the closure period, patients with minor injuries can attend the Mater Smithfield Rapid Injury Clinic in The Forge, beside the Smithfield Market.

aokeeffe@herald.ie

 

THE NEW FEATURES

The Mater Hospital's new casualty department boasts cutting-edge facilities and state-of-the-art medical devices for its patients. Features include:

• A new super-fast CAT scan machine at the heart of the casualty department so emergency cases no longer have to be wheeled away to other parts of the hospital

• A new laboratory means blood samples can be analysed immediately for more rapid diagnoses

• A theatre for minor operations so procedures can be done on the spot.

• A new X-ray room for faster diagnosis

• Specialised room for making plasters for broken bones

• 15 new single-patient examination cubicles for people with complex and urgent medical complaints.

• A 60pc increase in capacity for resuscitating patients


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