23 September 2015
By Bryan Smyth
Marymount University Hospital & Hospice officially opened its new interventional pain service facility at Marymount, Curraheen, Cork this morning.
Republic of Ireland’s soccer management team Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane performed the official opening.
Dr. John Browne, consultant pain specialist, instigated the interventional pain service for patients with severe cancer pain. Professor Tony O’Brien, Consultant Physician in Palliative Care at Marymount, was also an integral part of the initiation of the service, which has been funded by the HSE.
“It’s the first of its kind in Ireland or Britain in a hospice setting and we believe it is the first of its kind in a hospice in Europe,” said Dr. Browne.
Marymount’s new state-of-the-art facility at Curraheen houses the purpose-built facility, which comprises an outpatient suite, a procedure room with x-ray-fluoroscopy equipment and recovery facilities.
The in-house service is a major asset to the patients of Marymount and is operated by a team of four nurses, a radiographer, a secretary and three doctors, headed by Dr. Browne.
Although analgesic drugs can treat roughly 90% of cancer pain about 10% of patients need interventional x-ray-guided nerve blocks. Normally patients needing this service have to be moved to a general hospital for the treatment. “It’s a very big advantage to have the in-house facility for these patients where they can be assessed and treated in a very expeditious manner,” said Dr. Browne.
“The new unit is a very good example of interdisciplinary cooperation on the treatment of cancer pain. The new hospice and the development of the new unit within the complex shows great dedication and foresight by the palliative care services,” he added.
The interventional pain unit has just completed its first year in operation. It has carried out 200 procedures over the last 12months.
The unit, built by Marymount, is financed by the HSE, who according to Dr. Browne showed great courage and determination in staffing the unit in difficult financial times.
“We are more than grateful to the HSE for their foresight. They recognised a good idea and perceived it to be a very worthy cause,” he said.