Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

News

Stroke machine breathes new life into Portiuncula’s services

Enda Cunningham

Published

on

The installation of a state-of-the-art telemedicine machine at Portiuncula – which will allow doctors at other hospitals to make life-saving diagnoses – has been hailed as the start of a 24/7 stroke service at the hospital.

Seven of the ‘TRASNA’ machines were purchased nationally by the HSE in 2012, but had been sitting in a storage facility in Cork.

However, last week, managers in the Saolta group – which handles the administration of hospitals in Galway – confirmed that one of the machines has finally been delivered to Portiuncula.

The machine will allow patients at Portiuncula talk with the specialist at the other end of the line – who will also have access to the patient’s entire file, including scans – and allow immediate decision-making, thus saving lives.

For some types of stroke caused by a blood clot, a ‘clot-busting’ drug is seen as the best option to stop more damage to the brain. This is administered by injection in a treatment called thrombolysis.

It can only be given within four-and-a half-hours of stroke symptoms starting. About 10% of people treated with thrombolysis will make a good recovery and if given within two hours, the recovery rate is even better.

The TRASNA machine will allow for complex decision-making – such a thrombolysis treatment – to take place, even if no specialist is physically in Portiuncula. Independent TD Denis Naughten told the Connacht Tribune: “For the first time ever, it will ensure that the hospital has a 24 hour a day, seven day a week emergency stroke service.

“Over the past two years, I’ve been lobbying and publically pressing Government and the HSE for the installation of one of these machines at Portiuncula.

“The importance of this machine to the hospital cannot be underestimated, particularly since the loss of our stroke consultant at the hospital in March 2013.

“Since then, the hospital has unsuccessfully tried to recruit a new consultant, with the post even offered to a candidate last summer.

“The lack of such a service in Portiuncula means that someone diagnosed with a stroke within four hours of its onset must be transferred to Galway, 40 minutes away.

“And for every minute that treatment is delayed, a stroke patient loses two million brain cells. This could result in local patients losing 80m brain cells while they travel in the ambulance between Ballinasloe and Galway, and then spending longer in hospital and they are also more likely to require long-term nursing home care,” said Deputy Naughten.

He said that every second day, one person within the catchment of Portiuncula suffers a stroke, and that it is the third biggest cause of death and disability in the world today.

“We now need to link the machines up with Galway University Hospitals’ stroke team and  in tandem with that train the staff in Portiuncula to administer the thrombolysis treatment after diagnosis.

“But this is a major step forward and I want to acknowledge the work done by Chris Kane and her team in Portiuncula and also that of Minister Varadkar,” said the Deputy.

At the moment, Portiuncula has a very successful stroke rehabilitation unit, with a team of nurses and therapists providing focused support for those in recovery.

“Not only does the installation of this state of the art machine allow for the development of a 24/7 emergency stroke thrombolysis service, but in the UK, hospitals have expanded the use of these machines to fast-track treatment for burns, orthopaedics and neurology patients.

“With the strong history of Portiuncula building up links with other hospitals, hopefully these machines can be used to reduce the need to transfer many more patients to other hospitals,” Deputy Naughten said.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending