EXPOSED: Packed Baby ICUs and Dirty Beds; Vulnerable Newborns at Serious Risk of Infection in Hospital, HIQA Reports

Daily Mail (London), February 16, 2016 | Go to article overview

EXPOSED: Packed Baby ICUs and Dirty Beds; Vulnerable Newborns at Serious Risk of Infection in Hospital, HIQA Reports


Byline: Leah McDonald

VULNERABLE newborns were at serious risk of infection from overcrowding and poor environmental hygiene at the National Maternity Hospital, a damning new report has revealed.

Inspectors, who made an unannounced visit to the busy hospital in Dublin's Holles Street last October, found patient welfare was at risk because of poor hygiene controls and overcrowding.

The initial unannounced inspection sparked an immediate letter to master Dr Rhona Mahony from health watchdog HIQA, which carried out the probe. A follow-up inspection by the Health Information Quality Authority in November found significant improvements in environmental hygiene but improvements were still required in cleaning practices and overcrowding in the neonatal intensive care unit.

HIQA said overcrowding in the intensive care unit posed an infection control risk to vulnerable newborns accommodated there.

Inspectors found a unit designed for 36 babies was accommodating 46 babies on the day they visited.

'There is an increased risk of infection spread in overcrowded environments, particularly with respiratory and gastrointestinal infections,' the report points out.

HIQA said it acknowledged the capacity challenges faced by the hospital in accommodating newborns in this unit given its role as a tertiary referral centre. However, it found that continuing to admit babies to an overcrowded unit remains a significant risk. 'The ongoing need to admit unwell neonates above the unit's design and staffing capacity must be assessed in the context of the risks posed to babies already accommodated in this high-risk clinical area.' Dr Mahony, in a letter to HIQA in October, said the hospital sometimes continues to admit babies to the unit even when full because 'the risk of not doing so is greater and due to the unavailability of other options within the country'.

'For example, if a patient at 25 weeks' gestation delivers unexpectedly ... it may be safer to admit the baby to the unit despite overcrowding rather than attempt to transfer to another unit.' She said the hospital took the matter very seriously and as an immediate response set up a task force to deal with each of the issues raised by HIQA.

The report noted that there are ten delivery rooms in a unit which was projected to accommodate the delivery of over 9,000 babies last year.

But plans for a new maternity hospital to replace Holles Street includes up to 24 delivery rooms.

In her letter to HIQA, Dr Mahony wrote it was for this reason management has consistently highlighted the problems raised, adding 'we ourselves have declared our hospital not fit for purpose'.

And yesterday Krysia Lynch, of the Association for Improvements in Maternity Service, said she was not surprised by the report given the hospital is not fit for purpose.

The AIMS chairman said: 'Women have consistently made comments about the poor facilities in the neonatal unit but the poor hygiene is across the board.' She said a part of the problem was 'lack of resources' and 'very poor infrastructure because the hospital is obviously in premises that are very old and in many respects not fit for purpose.' With Holles Street due to move to a new premises in 2018, Ms Lynch said: 'This represents a golden opportunity now especially with the strategy which recommends birth settings and birth environments that are much more woman-friendly. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

EXPOSED: Packed Baby ICUs and Dirty Beds; Vulnerable Newborns at Serious Risk of Infection in Hospital, HIQA Reports
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.