Inspectors find dust, faulty lights and equipment in Portiuncula

Hiqa observes blood-stained sticky tape beside patient bed

The Health Information and Quality Authority raised concerns around the management of blood monitoring equipment in Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

The Health Information and Quality Authority raised concerns around the management of blood monitoring equipment in Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

 

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) has raised concerns around the management of blood monitoring equipment in Portiuncula Hospital in Galway.

Inspectors raised their concerns after observing used blood sampling lancets in holders for glucose monitoring equipment during an unannounced inspection in May. They also discovered an unclean glucometer in St Joseph’s ward, an acute medical ward and stroke unit at the hospital during the inspection.

They also observed blood-stained sticky tape on a window sill beside a patient’s bed.

Both issues were brought to the attention of staff at the hospital and addressed immediately.

In their subsequent report on the inspection, the Hiqa inspectors noted the use of blood monitoring equipment have been linked to outbreaks of hepatitis B and hepatitis C in healthcare settings and recommended that the hospital reviews its current management system for blood glucose monitoring equipment and other blood monitoring equipment.

They also drew attention to a missing cover on a light fixture over a patient’s bed, exposing electrical wiring which the inspectors said posed a potential safety risk to patients and staff.

Other issues raised by inspectors included dust on surfaces, including patient equipment such as a cardiac monitor and suction apparatus, as well as heavy dust on the bases of beds in St John’s ward.

Inspectors also raised issues around scuffed and chipped paint, rust-coloured staining on radiators, bedside tables and a medicine trolley and a number of cases where effective cleaning was hindered due to chipped or damaged surfaces or due to sticky residues on furniture and equipment, including a glucometor.

Meanwhile, an unannounced inspection of St Nicholas’ ward and St Michael’s ward in University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park Hospital on May 21st found heavy dust and grease on the bases of beds in all three areas.

As in Portiuncula Hospital, inspectors recommended that the management of the maintenance and management of glucometer holders and other blood monitoring equipment be reviewed after observing unclean glucometers on St Nicholas’s ward.

They recommended a “more robust system of managing and maintaining such equipment is put in place to mitigate the risks to patients and staff of acquiring a healthcare association infection”.

They also found nebuliser equipment in St Michael’s ward was not being disposed of after each use in line with best practice. “This practice should be reviewed to ensure that the risk to the patient of acquiring legionellosis is fully mitigated,” the report recommended.