Maternity hospitals may ‘become more liberal’ over visitor restrictions

Hospitals may begin to ease visiting restrictions due to the improved Covid-19 situation
Maternity hospitals may ‘become more liberal’ over visitor restrictions

Maternity hospitals may begin to ease visiting restrictions due to the improved Covid-19 situation, the clinical director of the HSE Women and Infant’s Health Programme said.

The Irish Examiner reports that Dr Peter McKenna said hospitals could independently assess their situation and find themselves “in a position to become more liberal” over restrictions.

Although some maternity hospitals have slightly eased restrictions in recent days, there are still tight limits in place.

“I would be asking hospitals to have a close look at their situation and bear in mind the community rate is falling, staff have been vaccinated,” Dr McKenna said.

“And hopefully, they will consider themselves in a position to become more liberal.” Each hospital should assess this individually, he said.

Risks remain

Dr McKenna cautioned that risks from Covid-19 remain high. At the weekend, there were three pregnant women in intensive care with the virus.

Covid placentitis has been recorded 11 times in Ireland, including six stillbirths and one miscarriage since January.

Dr McKenna also said workplaces should assess safety for pregnant staff.

“It is very much dependant on the particular job. I think the imperative to avoid Covid is large. I think that the advent of Covid placentitis has increased this,” he said.

“In very general terms I would be surprised if occupational medicine were not very sympathetic to the needs of their pregnant workers.”

It comes as Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) has begun to allow partners to visit newborns for one hour at a time on one post-natal ward.

The hospital has launched a visitor’s app and has plans to expand this in two weeks’ time.

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