An Irish surgeon has revealed he was on duty at the Royal Galway Hospital on August 29 when an Ebola patient was treated in the operating theatre.
Dr Patrick O’Donovan from the University of Limerick told the Limerick Post that he was treating the patient at 7:45am.
He said the patient was a 28-year-old woman who was a “medical specialist” who was also a nurse.
Dr O’Donnell said she had been treated with the experimental treatment of ritonavir, a type of drug which was approved by the European Medicines Agency.
Dr Patric O’Neill (left) and Dr Patrick O Donovan.
Source: University of New Ireland/Facebook/The Limerick Herald via The Irish IndependentDr O O’Neil said the woman was “very well-integrated” in her care and that the patient’s blood samples had been taken and tested.
Dr Donovan said he was at the hospital on the morning of the incident and the woman did not require any other treatment.
He said that the nurse had arrived at the operating room with a white towel, which he used to remove her clothing.
He added that the woman then left the operating area with a towel, with the patient sitting on the operating table.
He added that while he did not know the precise time or location of the patient, he said she appeared to be a medical specialist.
Dr John O’Mahony, from the Galway University Hospital, said the nurse was a specialist.
He told The Irish News: “I have to assume that she has been on duty since the early hours of the morning and that is why she was on the table at 7.30am.”
I know there are people who work in the hospital who would not be surprised if that is the case.
“She would be one of those people.”
Dr O Donnan added that he has not seen the footage from the operating suite and that he would be speaking to the hospital about it.
Dr Andrew O’Reilly, from Galway City University Hospital in Galway, said that it was unlikely that the nurses would have known the patient had been Ebola-positive.
He told The Limerick Courier that the RNs would not have known she was in contact with the woman because she was wearing a face mask when she arrived at work.
Dr Reilly said the hospital has “no idea” how many nurses there were on duty that day.
Dr Doherty said the staff in the emergency department would have been aware of the situation, but it was not clear how many staff there were.
He explained that nurses are required to wear masks during all routine patient care and they would have had the opportunity to see that she was being treated.
He also said that if the patient did not need to be in the ambulance, the hospital would have asked staff to leave the room for an hour.
“It’s not clear that we had the time to ask the nurses to leave, and if they did leave, there is a possibility that they were not aware that they would need to leave and that would have caused a risk to the patient,” he said.
Dr Dóna Mollaigh, from Mayo Clinic, said in a statement that there was “no reason” to believe that the hospital had failed to comply with the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Irish nurse has been named as Karen O’Briain.
She has been released from hospital and is expected to be discharged on Tuesday.