Scoliosis in Ireland - Hospital Wait Times

The Irish Medical Times have reported about the backlog at the Crumlin Hospital. There are currently a backlog of 70 operations to correct spinal deformity and by February 2010 this backlog is expected to be cleared, with children due to be operated upon from later this month.

His report below gives a greater description of the situation, written by Gary Culliton

A new initiative to address the waiting list has been agreed between the HSE and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin; Temple Street; Tallaght; and Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospitals, in collaboration with consultant orthopaedic surgeons.
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The surgery for the 70 patients, who have had all of their pre-operative assessments completed, will be undertaken at either of the four above hospitals ‘as appropriate, based on the particular clinical needs of each patient’, IMT has been informed.

The hospitals have communicated with the patients and their families regarding the arrangements.

According to the Dublin critical care paediatric ICU report published last year, which looked at the facilities in Temple Street, Tallaght and Crumlin hospitals, major structural deficiencies in the service remain, and campaigners point out these will not be resolved simply by clearing the waiting list.

While the HSE is aware of a chronic shortage of paediatric consultant anaesthetists at Crumlin, extra anaesthetic cover should allow surgical teams to increase productivity in the orthopaedic area by between 25-30 per cent.

According to sources at Crumlin, if the Executive was to sanction the appointment of key anaesthetic staff, throughput of scoliosis cases could reach two to three cases per week — the level needed to cope with current demand. However, specialist beds would also need to reopen, they add.

The hospital has raised funds through donations and work that its surgeons carry out in Cork. In addition, a company has offered to provide implants free of charge to 30 children — a benefit worth between € 300,000 and € 600,000.S

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