Thursday, June 18, 2020

Elective surgeries have recommenced at Mayo University Hospital and work is underway to re-introduce clinics and services that were deferred due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“While many services continued safely over the last number of months with additional and enhanced infection control measures in place, including endoscopy, oncology, dialysis,

and our ante-natal services, like acute hospitals across the country, much of our elective and non-emergency procedures were deferred. This was to ensure that there was the necessary space in the hospital to treat suspect and confirmed Covid-19 patients,” said Catherine Donohoe, Mayo University Hospital Manager.

Consultant Surgeon Professor Kevin Barry said the hospital has now re-commenced elective inpatient and endoscopy surgeries and will be gradually increasing the number of patients during the coming weeks.

“The last few months have been unprecedented for all of us on the front line and we have all worked really hard to maintain critical services for patients. Our key priority as we work towards resuming many of the services that had been deferred is ensuring patient and staff safety. We have re-commenced elective inpatient surgery and endoscopy in the hospital and we will gradually be increasing the number of patients over the coming weeks.  Our day-case surgery will recommence over the next week and we will continue to further increase the level of surgery taking place in the hospital over the summer months,” said Prof Barry.

He urged people to attend the hospital if they require urgent treatment.

“Our Emergency Department continues to see patients 24/7 and it is really important that patients come to hospital if they need urgent care. Patients should not ignore possible symptoms of serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses such as heart attack or stroke. In addition, emergency surgery continues as always so patients who may suffer trauma for example following an accident or fall should attend the Emergency Department for treatment,” said Prof Barry.

The hospital is contacting patients with appointments to take them through the measures put in place.

“Where patients have appointments, the hospital will contact them directly in advance and go through the process for coming to the hospital with them. This will include in some cases pre-screening patients to ensure that they do not have a fever or respiratory systems, ensuring that patients wear face masks and maintain social distancing and that they do not come to the hospital before their appointment time. Where possible, we are continuing with virtual clinics using video technology. Many of our physiotherapy clinics are being undertaken via video conferencing and we are also doing some of our orthopaedic clinics this way. For patients attending outpatient appointments in person, we would ask that they attend their appointment alone.  In the case that a patient requires assistance and support, one other person may accompany them. Unfortunately, it will not be possible for others to enter the waiting area or clinical area,” said Ms Donohoe.

Patients who may have been opposed to the coronavirus are asked to not attend for scheduled appointments.

“We are asking patients not to come to the hospital for their scheduled appointments if they are showing any symptoms or signs of Covid-19, to minimise spread of the virus. Patients should not come to the hospital if any member of their household is showing any potential symptoms or signs of Covid-19 or if they are a close contact with a confirmed case.  If patients have any doubts, we advise that they call us in advance of their appointment to check. This is both for the patients’ protection and the protection of others.  Patients will receive information ahead of their appointment to explain these new changes,” said Ms Donohoe.

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