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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 30 November 2021

Sticky residue and stains found on equipment at Limerick hospital

Serious hand hygiene and equipment cleanliness issues were also identified at Cork University Hospital.

Image: hospital room image via Shutterstock

INSPECTION REPORTS ON two hospitals identified a number of hygiene issues that were considered immediate high risks.

During an unannounced inspection of University Hospital Limerick  by the Health Information and Quality Authority in November last year, at one ward, there were “unacceptable levels of dust” and there were stains on curtains around some patient beds.

Inspectors also found “varying levels of dust” on several items of patient equipment including the resuscitation trolley, the base of a hoist, suction apparatus and blood pressure monitoring equipment.

Sticky residue and staining was also found on blood pressure monitoring equipment and on the surface of a resuscitation trolley.

Several pieces of equipment inspected were unclean, including the interior of a nebuliser, the basket on blood pressure monitoring equipment and the surface of an intravenous pump. Several temperature probe holders were also observed to be unclean.

Hand hygiene at the time levels among staff at the time were also found to be 33%.

There was a crack in a window beside a patient’s bed in the same ward and the patient had covered it with newspaper and tape to block the draught coming through.

At a re-inspection last month, HIQA said significant improvements were noted.

Hygiene issues at Cork University Hospital

Hand hygiene, as well as environmental hygiene, was also found to be a major issue at Cork University Hospital, at a separate inspection.

Compliance with hand hygiene standards during a November inspection by HIQA was also 33% at a 34-bed ward at the hospital.

A number of items on the children’s Puffin Ward were found to be unclean, including temperature probe holders. A mattress on the ward was stained and the covers of two mattresses were torn.

Though HIQA said considerable improvements were noted during a re-inspection in January, it said the hospital’s performance in hand hygiene audits will have to improve significantly.

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