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CUH practices on handling suspected Covid-19 cases ‘being amended’

By Dermot - 19th Feb 2020

Local practices in handling potential cases of coronavirus “are being amended” at Cork University Hospital (CUH) “to ensure alignment with practices for taking CXRs [chest x-rays] in other hospitals”.

There was recent commentary on social media that NCHDs were required to perform chest x-rays on patients suspected of having coronavirus (Covid-19), following an apparent refusal by other staff members to perform these x-rays.

The IMO has been informed by CUH that, from now on, such x-rays will be undertaken by radiographers, as is the case in other hospitals.

CUH did not comment directly on this matter to the Medical Independent (MI). However, a spokesperson told MI today that “with regard to the handling of [potential cases of] Covid-19, management at CUH can confirm that local practices are being amended to ensure alignment with practices for taking CXRs [chest x-rays] in other hospitals.”

Earlier this week, the hospital stated that it was following an agreed local hospital protocol for when x-rays were performed in the isolation room in the emergency department. It said this included measures recommended in the national infection prevention and control guidance for Covid-19.

“This protocol will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, to reflect the latest Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Covid-19. Nobody has refused to implement this protocol.”

MI understands the matter was connected to training in use of personal protective equipment (PPE). It is understood that the protocol during the Ebola public health emergency, for example, was that doctors with that training would perform x-rays in the isolation unit.

The IMO has informed members that it has been in contact with CUH following the social media commentary.

“We have had it confirmed that the policy of having NCHDs conduct chest x-rays in the isolation room in the emergency department of CUH is historical. 

CUH has confirmed to the IMO that this policy has been reviewed and that “from now on, such x-rays will be undertaken by radiographers, as is the case in other hospitals.”

Members are asked to contact the union if they have any concerns.

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