Fire brigade called to assist hospital staff

Fire brigade called to assist hospital staff

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Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015
The fire brigade had to be called to assist hospital staff remove a ring from a man’s finger – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

The fire brigade had to be called to the injuries unit of a hospital to help medics remove a ring from an injured man’s finger.

The college student had been taken to the Local Injuries Unit (LIU) at Ennis General Hospital following a playing field accident on Monday night.

The man is understood to had attempted to climb over a fence to retrieve a ball when his three-piece ring got caught.

As the man climbed down from the fence the skin on the his ring finger was ripped almost an inch along the digit leaving his bones and knuckles exposed.

After arriving at the hospital in excruciating pain, medics provided pain relief for the injured man. They tried to use specialist ring cutters and even called for hospital maintenance staff to bring tools to see if they might help to remove the ring.

After arriving at the hospital in excruciating pain, medics provided pain relief for the injured man. They tried to use specialist ring cutters and even called for hospital maintenance staff to bring tools to see if they might help to remove the ring.

When their efforts had proven unsuccessful it was decided to enlist the help of the fire service who were called at about 8.30pm.

Classified as an ‘ambulance assist’ call, fire brigade personnel spent about 45 minutes at the hospital. After the man was administered a local anaesthetic to numb his finger, two members of the fire service worked together to successfully cut the ring from the man’s hand.

A hospital visitor said: “You could hear the roaring in the halls. The poor lad must have been in terrible pain. I was going home after visiting my mother and I met the fire brigade lads coming against me. I waited around for a while because I was curious to know what happened. When I did hear I got a shiver down my back.”

A HSE spokeswoman said: “The UL Hospitals Group can confirm that a unit of the local Fire Brigade was called to Ennis Hospital on the evening of 8th June. The assistance of the Fire service was required as specialist cutting equipment was needed to assist with the removal of a ring from a patient.”

“Due to patient confidentiality, the UL Hospitals Group is unable to make any further comment regarding the treatment of the patient,” she added.

It’s understood however that the patient was later transferred to the plastic surgery department at University Hospital Galway.

Acting Chief Fire Officer Denis O’Connell said: “This was certainly a very unusual call. I haven’t seen one like it before but we are delighted with the positive outcome and that we could assist the staff in the hospital.”

One hospital worker said: “I’ve never heard of the fire brigade being called to a hospital casualty department for something like this. In this job you learn and see something different new ever day. It’s definitely one of the books.”

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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