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Dublin: 19 °C Sunday 31 May, 2020
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Bodies at University Hospital Waterford to be stored in mobile refrigeration unit

Concerns had been raised about dead bodies being left on trolleys in the corridors of the hospital’s mortuary.

University Hospital Waterford
University Hospital Waterford
Image: Google Maps

A MOBILE REFRIGERATION unit will be used to store bodies at University Hospital Waterford, it has been confirmed.

Earlier this week concerns were raised about dead bodies being left on trolleys in the corridors of the hospital’s mortuary.

In a statement released today, the South-South West Hospital Group said a mobile refrigeration unit will be “on site, installed and available for use within one to two weeks”.

As a short to medium-term plan, a minor extension to the existing mortuary and an additional refrigeration unit will be on site and available for use within eight to 10 weeks.

“The long-term plan of a new capital mortuary build at University Hospital Waterford will be completed within two years, subject to capital approval,” the statement added.

According to a letter signed by four consultant pathologists at the hospital, which was made public this week and first seen by the Waterford News and Star and the Irish Times, “due to inadequate body storage and refrigeration facilities, most bodies lie on trolleys in corridors, often leaking body fluids on to the floor”.

The letter warned that bodies decomposing in the mortuary’s corridors lead to closed-coffin funerals, as well as “expose the public visiting hospitals to the odours of a postmortem room”.

It called for urgent remedial action at the mortuary and postmortem facilities, and was sent to Gerry O’Dwyer, CEO of the South-South West Hospital Group, which oversees the hospital.

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Órla Ryan

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