The HSE can confirm that following a serious incident at Naas General Hospital, the Emergency Department has been temporarily closed. The National Ambulance Service (NAS) has implemented appropriate diversion protocols and patients are being taken to alternative hospitals. The NAS has informed both the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and An Garda Siochana and a full investigation is underway into the incident.
The hospital has advised any member of the public seeking access to medical care to visit their GP in the first instance and if necessary to access another Emergency Department in an alternative hospital. The hospital has also requested that members of the public refrain from visiting at this time.
Update on Tragic Incident at Naas General Hospital
An HSE emergency ambulance was attending at the hospitals Emergency Department at Naas General Hospital when an incident involving an explosion in the rear of the ambulance occurred. Tragically, as a result of this incident a patient died. Tony O’Brien, Director General of the HSE, Dr Susan O’Reilly, Chief Executive Officer, Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, and hospital management, met with the family of the deceased this evening and expressed their sincerest sympathies to them. Supports have been made available to help the family through this difficult period.
The family have requested media to respect their privacy at this very difficult time.
The HSE would like to acknowledge the heroic efforts of our paramedic colleagues and hospital staff in attempting to save the life of the deceased. Both paramedics suffered some minor injuries in trying to do so. One of the paramedics has now been discharged and the other paramedic is currently being detained overnight for observation. Again, supports are being made available by the National Ambulance Service to the staff members and their families in line with the HSE Critical Incident Management policy.
The Gardai and the Health and Safety Authority have commenced their investigations, which is standard practice when a tragic event such as this occurs. The HSE is also commissioning an investigation in line with our serious incident policy.
Early indications suggest that the explosion caused a fire to start in the rear of the vehicle and not in the engine area. While the results of the full investigations are awaited, it would appear that the explosion was related to oxygen. As a result, the NAS is issuing an immediate safety action notice to ensure all oxygen is checked and has also directed its supplier to undertake a program of checks on the oxygen in our ambulances. Staff have also been asked to re-familiarise themselves with the emergency ambulance evacuation procedures.
All NAS managers and staff have been asked to give priority to the safety notice.
Last updated on: 22 / 09 / 2016