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'Ireland's crowded emergency departments are not ready for Ebola'

That is the opinion of emergency doctors.

Workers in protective gear near the Mater Hospital yesterday.
Workers in protective gear near the Mater Hospital yesterday.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

AN ASSOCIATION REPRESENTING emergency departments has warned that Ireland’s emergency departments may not be able to cope with Ebola.

The issue was raised yesterday after a woman tested negative in Dublin for the virus, which has killed thousands in Africa.

Now, the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine says that they have “serious safety concerns” over the handling of the virus.

“While excellent clinical care may well be provided to these patients, we must ensure that Ireland is in a position to safely manage the infection risks presented by a patient with Ebola should one present to any of the country’s 29 Emergency Departments.

“We have serious safety concerns including the continued crowding of EDs with admitted inpatients on trolleys; insufficient isolation facilities and the HSE’s national dependence on locum staff who are less likely to be aware of procedures and have undergone specific training.”

They call on the HSE to implement protocols to relieve emergency crowding, saying that the hospitals which serve Ireland’s international airports are particularly crowded. They also want areas to treat patients away from emergency rooms and mandatory training for frontline staff.

The statement adds that, in the opinion of the association, emergency department crowding and readiness are not compatible with best practices.

Read: Charlie Flanagan has been in Europe to discuss how to fight Ebola

Read: Woman tests negative for Ebola at Mater Hospital

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