Vital eye equipment out of action for month at CUH

A vital piece of equipment used to diagnose and monitor glaucoma at the eye clinic in Cork University Hospital (CUH) has been out of action for the past month.

The breakdown of the visual fields analyser in the ophthalmic department has led to patient appointments being deferred.

A patient who contacted the Irish Examiner said it was the second time his appointment had been cancelled and he was now pursuing private treatment.

Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve and treatment slows down progression. If untreated, the patient can go blind. Figures for CUH’s ophthalmic department show 2,400 patients attending for review of glaucoma, generating 4,800 appointments per year. The figure does not include new patient referrals.

Repeated attempts to establish how many patients have had appointments deferred on foot of the equipment failure were unsuccessful. The query was originally submitted on February 28.

Last month, the Irish Examiner reported that all five of the hospital’s ophthalmic surgeons had written to management warning that eye patients attending CUH were at risk of losing vision “permanently and irreversibly” because of appointment delays.

National Treatment Purchase Fund figures for February show 6,120 patient awaiting outpatient appointments at CUH, including 2,120 waiting for more than a year.

CUH said in a statement that it is “monitoring the situation” and “discussing options to manage the lists”.

“These include the option of retaining the services of a community ophthalmologist in reviewing patients from the waiting list,” the hospital said.

The hospital said an application for funding for a replacement visual fields analyser was submitted and approved and that the paperwork in relation to purchase and delivery had been submitted. On March 2, they said the new equipment was due to arrive “in 7-10 working days”.


© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Cabinet warned demands for extra funds will be viewed 'extremely negatively'

HSE and gardaí ordered to release key reports

Former Cork tax office to be knocked after two fires

Farming survey: One third of farmers don’t think farming hits climate


Breaking Stories

Full investigation into gas supply incident to be held as some houses in Galway back on stream

Charleton Tribunal hears how complaint against Garda whistleblower was withdrawn by his partner

Officers find €90k of cannabis hidden in parcel of fish in Portlaoise

Latest: No UK clarity on Brexit responsibilities for Ireland, says Michel Barnier

Lifestyle

House cleaning for dummies

Getting clean and lean: James Duigan on the simplicity of changing your food habits

Ask Audrey: You’re 9 on the Crazy Scale, where 1 is sane and 10 is flying with Ryanair

Get out and enjoy: What's on offer for Culture Night?

More From The Irish Examiner