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Ireland: Infectious disease isolation unit opened

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  • Ireland: Infectious disease isolation unit opened


    Last Updated: Friday, December 19, 2008, 11:35
    Infectious disease isolation unit opened

    Irelandís first National Isolation Unit for Infectious Disease has opened at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin.

    The unit will be for patients who contact hazardous and highly infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis, SARS and pandemic influenza. The facility will also look after a number of patients with other infections including HIV, hepatitis B & C, meningitis, MRSA and malaria.

    The facility, which was officially opened by Minister for Health Mary Harney this morning, includes six single isolation beds under negative pressure to prevent airborne transmission by microscopic droplets, which is the primary mode of transmission of tuberculosis and is also a contributory factor in SARS, influenza and possibly smallpox. There are also an additional six beds in shared accommodation.

    The infectious diseases multidisciplinary team comprises of four consultants, nine non-consultant doctors, 18 nurses, two pharmacists, two social workers and four secretaries.

    "As a team we have extensive experience in responding to the special difficulties associated with infection. With this state-of-the-art facility we are confident that we can offer the highest standard of care to our patients while maintaining optimal infection control. This investment is a great boost that enables us to face future challenging infections, both known and yet to emerge," said Dr Gerard Sheehan, consultant in infectious diseases at the Mater.