Cork University Hospital (CUH) Charity has renewed its appeal to the public to help in fundraising for a new children’s emergency department.
20% of all emergency department (ED) patients are children, whether for major trauma, broken bones, high temperatures, mental health issues, or acute illness.
Those calling for the separate department point out that the ED is a bustling, busy environment that can be stressful for an adult, and so the stress is amplified for children.
CUH has said a children’s emergency department is long overdue, especially in light of Covid-19.
A parent or sibling will accompany a child to the emergency department and waiting around can be relentless in a busy environment and it is the hospital’s responsibility to care for the child, while also providing a safe environment for whoever is with them.
An additional benefit of a designated paediatric area is that it would free up space within the main emergency department. This would increase corridor-free space and support the delivery of trauma care.
The new children’s ED would include audio-visual separation from adults, toys and decorations, bottle warmers and fresh water, a baby change area, a family room, and a separate waiting area.
Consultant in paediatric emergency medicine, Rory O’Brien, said: “When a parent brings a child to the emergency department, we want to remove as much stress as possible, for the parent and the child.
“This safer, calmer, child-friendly environment will benefit any family that walks through our doors.
"And also give our staff tools to help distract or entertain children during medical procedures or assessments.”
Those who wish to can donate here.