Rise in traumas related to farm accidents being treated at Cork University Hospital

Rise in traumas related to farm accidents being treated at Cork University Hospital
IE FARMING STOCK GENERIC FOR STEPHEN CADOGAN 14/05/2020.Cattle on a farm in Co. Cork.Picture Denis Minihane.

CORK University Hospital (CUH) staff have seen a "significant number of traumas" relating to farm accidents in recent weeks, according to an emergency doctor at the hospital.

Dr Conor Deasy said that CUH is the busiest hospital in the country in relation to farm accident victims, largely because Cork has a large dairy industry.

There have been fourteen fatalities on Irish farms this year, with four of those on Cork farms.

Speaking during Farm Safety Week, Dr Deasy told The Echo: "There have been a significant number of major traumas brought in (to CUH) in the last few weeks with miraculous outcomes, life-changing injuries and very sad fatalities."

He said that while 6% of major traumas on farms related to children, he pointed out that a quarter of those injured in farm accidents are people over 65 years of age.

He pointed out that there are cases where accidents occur in remote areas and victims have to be airlifted to CUH.

Dr Deasy urged farmers to think safety first when out on their farms.

And he said: "We need to have the same rigours around farm safety as we do around industrial safety."

Fine Gael's Seanad spokesman on agriculture, Senator Tim Lombard, said he knew two people killed in farm accidents within a six week period in Cork this year - one in a tractor accident and the other by a bull.

He described farm accidents as a "blight on our communities and on our society".

He added: "To really make a change when it comes to farm safety and to really change what is happening on our family farms, we need to make hard and somewhat unpopular decisions. It has to be one of the priorities of this Seanad. Realistically, this group of 60 individuals has to pioneer certain issues. I will be pioneering farm safety and I will be looking for the Cathaoirleach's help when it comes to this issue because it affects all of our communities. "

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