The HSE West confirmed that a number of staff had been bitten but said there was no evidence that patients had been affected.
However, Tierney said anything that could have a negative effect on patients is of concern to her organization.
“We have always been worried about hospital acquired infections but to think of the possibility of coming away with a foreign body...I shudder to think of it. People have a horror of creepy crawlies,” she said.
Tierney said she hoped the relevant authorities are dealing with the issue. “While we cannot apportion blame what is important is how this problem is being dealt with. I hope pest control and the environmental health department is involved,” she said.
In a statement the HSE West confirmed that a number of staff working in the hospital’s outpatient department have been bitten by fleas recently.
“The hospital has undertaken a series of actions to deal with the problem and we have communicated with staff in the department who have been affected. There is no sign that this is affecting patients. The hospital is sorry for the discomfort to staff and for any worry this has caused to staff and may cause patients and is grateful for the patience and support of all concerned while we deal with this,” the statement said.
A NORTHSIDE pensioner has vowed to stop taking his medicine in protest over the prescription charge increase for medical card holders announced in the budget.
Vincent Quinn, 78, criticized the government’s decision to increase the charge from 50 cent to €1.50.
“I am really angry over this,” Quinn said.
“I have to pay €10 for the monthly medication for myself and my wife, now this will be going up to €14. I can’t afford it on my pension.
“They have also cut back on our telephone and ESB allowance. It’s a triple whammy. I’m very annoyed. I kicked up over the 50 cent charge when it was introduced a few years ago and threatened to stop taking my medication.
“This time I’m definitely going to come off my medication. As a result of this increase, I’m going to go off it altogether.
“If I take ill, I will have to be taken into hospital and it will cost the government more money in the long run.”
Quinn has a number of health issues including heart trouble and high blood pressure.
“My wife also suffers from heart trouble and is bad on her feet,” he explained.
“The reason I’m complaining is not only for myself and my wife -- it’s for every senior citizen in the country.
“It’s very unfair that senior citizens are hit all the time. We are the most vulnerable group and should not be hit like this.”
Mom Wins Damages
A WOMAN whose baby was delivered stillborn after being sent on a two-hour ambulance journey has been awarded €170,000 damages against the Health Service Executive at the High Court.
Justice Sean Ryan said the case was the stuff of nightmares.
Fiona Ní Chonchubhair, 36, of Countess Road, Killarney, Co. Kerry, was 32 weeks pregnant in May 2009 when she experienced difficulties.
She attended at Kerry General Hospital in Tralee when the hospital decided to send her 110 kilometers away by ambulance to Cork without a blood transfusion on board.
She was bleeding internally and by the time she was operated on at Cork University Hospital, and had a blood transfusion, her baby was delivered stillborn on May 16, 2009.
The HSE apologized for what had happened to her and her husband, Stephen Cotter.
Ní Chonchubair sued for negligence and breach of duty. The HSE admitted liability.
Speaking afterwards, Ní Chonchubhair said they took the case to make sure the same tragedy did not happen to another mother.