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Mon, Sep
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MUH looking to more than double ICU capacity in Covid-19 battle

News

Edwin McGreal

Mayo University Hospital is seeking to more than double the capacity of its Intensive Care Unit as the hospital prepares for an increase in numbers presenting at the hospital with Covid-19 in the coming weeks.
MUH’s ICU currently has four beds and Tony Canavan (pictured above), the CEO of the Saolta Hospital Group, says they are looking to double that number and beyond.
“ICU is the critical piece in respect of Covid-19, having enough ICU or ventilated beds. Moving from four to eight is very important but we expect we will probably have to go beyond that as well,” he told The Mayo News.
He also stressed to people that who needed treatment for non-Covid-19 reasons to not be afraid of doing so. A reduction in numbers attending at the Emergency Department spoke to a certain fear, he admitted.  
“When we look at the numbers attending at the Emergency Department at Mayo University Hospital it is significantly reduced on what we would have expected at this time of year and reduced on a month ago and so on so people are staying away. That’s an important message to give to people – if you have an acute illness or if you have an illness that’s deteriorating and you need the services of the hospital, you should come to the hospital and you shouldn’t be afraid to come to the hospital. Mayo University Hospital is there to provide that care for you and the staff there will make every effort that they can to make sure people are separated so that there’s no risk of cross-infection,” he said.
Mr Canavan added that plans to use MacHale Park as a second testing centre in Castlebar have been put on the hold, for now. Testing is continuing at the new swimming pool complex in the county town.
“We had set up at MacHale Park to get started but we paused that temporarily because the numbers coming through for testing have reduced and that’s because of the change in criteria last week and we will have to see if that changes and if the numbers coming through increase again, we will open up MacHale Park and we will have two testing centres then in Castlebar,” he said.
Mr Canavan also paid tribute to frontline workers in Mayo University Hospital.  
“Staff are excellent. The bit that really strikes me about it and it is true of any of us working in the service, we’re all coming from the community, we all have families we go home to and we all have other concerns and things we worry about in the same way that anyone living in the community would worry about, it might be an elderly relative or it might be children at home or whatever. Staff, with all of those concerns and worries, are still coming in and doing the job and doing it very, very well so they really should be commended for it,” he said.