Field hospital in University of Limerick at 'advanced stage'

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Email:

donal.oregan@limerickleader.ie

New Artificial Intelligence partnership announced at the University of Limerick

A total of 120 beds are planned for a field hospital in UL

WHEN University of Limerick president Dr Des Fitzgerald said in March that its grounds could be used for a field hospital, many thought he was being alarmist.

However, the words of the cardiologist and former Professor of Molecular Medicine at UCD have come to pass.

CEO UL Hospitals Colette Cowan confirmed to Eric Clarke of Virgin Media News this Friday that work is at an advanced stage.

"We are aiming to put in 120 beds in a field hospital type scenario that will really help us to move patients out of this hospital that are starting to recover.

"We need staff to do it so I am putting a call to action to the staff of the region - we need professionals that will work in that Covid hospital," said Ms Cowan.

As well as the field hospital in UL, other measures the UL Hospitals Group have been implementing are more capacity in intensive care in UHL, up to 60 additional isolation beds including a rapid build 24-bed isolation unit in UHL and Croom Hospital.

Work is already underway on the 24-bed isolation unit at University Hospital Limerick which is expected to be completed in early July. As part of that facility an 11-metre oxygen tank has been put in place.

"We are ready for the surge and we will hit it full force but if it people don't social distance we wont be able to cope for the influx," said Ms Cowan.

The CEO echoed the words of chief medical officer, Tony Holohan who this week urged people who have symptoms outside of those linked to Covid-19 to contact their GP and not to avoid the hospital for fear of getting the illness. 

Every measure is in place to prevent the spread of the virus in hospitals. There were just three people on trolleys in UHL's Emergency Department this Friday. There were eight in the whole country.