The ED provides medical advice and support to vessels at sea. ‘Medico Cork’ is the communications call sign for the National Maritime Telemedical Assistance Service provided by the ED at Cork University Hospital. Essentially, the department in the case of medical emergencies at sea provides medical advice and assistance. 19 calls for medical advice were requested in 2008 using the Medico Cork service.
The Medico service was extended to islanders in 2008. In the event of an emergency on any island off the coast of Ireland the medico number can be accessed for medical advice via ambulance or the Coast Guard. There was one island related call in 2008.
Since May 2008 diving related incidents in Ireland are dealt with through Medico Cork, with re-compression taking place as required at the Naval base in Haulbowline, Ringaskiddy Co. Cork. There were 2 diving related calls in 2008.
Due to changes nationally in facilities for the management of patients that need decompression treatment in a Hyperbaric Chamber, the Emergency Department at CUH in conjunction with the Naval Base, Haulbowline and Ringaskiddy became the recognized national facility in 2008. As a result this has led to the education of emergency medical and nursing staff in relation to Management of patients that need decompression treatment in the hyperbaric chamber.
More than 150 delegates gathered in Cork for an Irish Maritime Medicine Conference in the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) in Ringaskiddy, Cork on 9th October 2008.
The conference, which was the first of its kind in Ireland, was organised by Medico Cork and the Irish Naval Service, with the assistance of the Irish Coast Guard. There was a large attendance present to hear the latest advances in the field of maritime medicine with local and international guest speakers making presentations. The aim of the conference was to increase the awareness of the maritime environment and its hazards.
Commenting on the conference, Professor Stephen Cusack, Director of Emergency Medicine in Cork University Hospital said, “Cork is Ireland’s maritime capital having the national maritime college, the Irish Naval Service and Medico Cork based in this city. This conference will mark further development of this strong maritime tradition.”
2008’s radio medical advice meeting between UK and Cork was held in Cork, with a French representative also attending.
As part of the liaison between the ED and the Irish Naval Service, Naval Emergency Medical Technicians (NEMT) have clinical placements in the emergency department. These placements have proved very beneficial for all concerned.
2008 also saw the continuation of attendance of ship captains trainees from the National Maritime College of Ireland to the Emergency Department.