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Patient safety at the heart of healthcare

Achieving improvements in patient safety has always been a core goal of the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland and will be highlighted at its upcoming conference The College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland (CAI) has prioritised excellence in patient safety and quality-of-care as its primary strategic aim within its strategic plan (2019-2024). The ambition of the…

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Behind the lines of Irish occupational medicine

As long-standing issues around resourcing and recognition deepen during the pandemic, specialists in occupational medicine warn of a ‘tipping point’. Catherine Reilly reports Occupational health departments are the ‘engine rooms’ of healthcare – or as one observer described, the ‘thin line protecting the frontline’. From pre-placement assessments to blood exposure management, immunisations to health surveillance,…

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Positive developments within the field of cystic fibrosis

Ms Sarah Tecklenborg, Senior Research and Policy Coordinator, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, provides an overview of the latest Irish cystic fibrosis research, including the impact of Covid-19 on people with the condition At the recent European Cystic Fibrosis Society conference, held online on 24-25 September, Prof Ed McKone, Consultant Respiratory Physician, St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin,…

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Coming to America: The contribution of immigrant healthcare workers

The US may sometimes seem a cold place for immigrants despite their indispensable role in sustaining the country’s healthcare sector, writes Bette Browne The first black and Asian-American woman nominated as a US Vice Presidential candidate, Senator Kamala Harris, cites her Indian mother’s pioneering work in America’s healthcare sector as one of the factors that…

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When the race for a vaccine is over

The Covid-19 vaccine race is a global news story. But what happens if and when a vaccine is developed? David Lynch looks at looming challenges of access, availability, and distribution Much of the coverage of the drive for a Covid-19 vaccine is focused on the speed of development, its safety, effectiveness and, most prominently, when…

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Irish Latch On study seeks to improve breastfeeding outcomes in women with raised BMI

Maternal overweight and obesity are known to be associated with lower rates of breastfeeding success. Niamh Cahill highlights efforts underway in Ireland to boost rates through a new multicentre randomised control trial Research shows that overweight and obesity leads to a 13 per cent reduction in breastfeeding initiation followed by a sharp drop off after…

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Addressing global inequalities in health – a reflection on World Anaesthesia Day 2020

Dr Brian Kinirons, President of the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland, outlines the work of the College in building physician anaesthesiology capacity in Africa and tackling inequities to improve universal access to high-quality anaesthesia care In the early 1800s surgery was a gruesome affair that most people avoided. In the absence of an anaesthetic, patients…

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Sex workers’ health in a pandemic

The pandemic has highlighted how vulnerable populations face additional health risks including exposure to Covid-19. Catherine Reilly speaks to sex workers, and those advocating for their welfare, about these challenges In spring, when the Covid-19 crisis erupted, Zoe (not her real name) decided to stop meeting sex buyers and advertised video and phone sex only.…

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Area medical officers and the long fight for equality

Some 16 HSE area medical officers (AMOs) are seeking pay and conditions on a par with that of their senior medical officer (SMO) colleagues. Niamh Cahill reports “The IMO was very disappointed with the outcome of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in relation to this issue but remain committed to addressing this longstanding unfair treatment…

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A question of resilience

Dr Steve Thomas (PhD) argues why it is important to make health systems resilient in the face of shocks, such as Covid-19 Catastrophic events occurring over the last decade or so have highlighted the need to understand how to govern health systems in the face of shocks. In high-income countries this was triggered by the…

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