THE Health Service Executive (HSE) has apologised after a man had to receive emergency treatment in an ambulance as the Accident and Emergency department of the Mid Western Regional Hospital was full.
The incident happened last week following what the HSE has described as an “upsurge” in attendances at A&E following the Bank Holiday weekend.
According to SIPTU, which represents some nursing staff at the hospital, an electrical cable had to be extended from the main building to the ambulance bay to allow doctors and nurses use specialist equipment to treat the male rhesus patient.
“I think this would be a highly unsafe practice and definitely it’s a first as far as I’m aware. It’s shocking and it’s disgusting and its disappointing and above all it’s putting patient safety at risk,” Jim McGrath of SIPTU told Live 95FM.
In a statement, the HSE said the Mid Western Regional Hospital was “extremely busy” on the day of the incident and it added that the “situation was exacerbated” when four people were being treated in the major resuscitation facilities within A&E when the ambulance arrived.
According to the HSE, the situation which arose on the day was “an extremely unusual occurrence” as it is “exceptionally rare for five patients to require access to the major resuscitation facilities at the same time.”
While the man was treated in the ambulance bay, the HSE insists the speedy treatment of the patient was a priority and this was done to a high clinical standard by a medical professional.
“A decision was made to treat the patient in an ambulance located in the Emergency Department Ambulance Bay which is a secure area accessible to trained ambulance personnel and Emergency Department staff,” read the HSE statement.