UL Hospitals Group has introduced a skin temperature monitoring system at University Hospital Limerick in an intensification of efforts to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infection among patients and staff at the region’s main acute hospital.
The system has been generously donated to the hospital by Adare Manor and the McManus family. One detection point is already operational just beyond the hospital’s entrance lobby, and this will soon be complemented by further detection units in areas of high footfall.
Dr Sarah O’Connell, Infectious Diseases Consultant and Clinical Lead for COVID-19 at UL Hospitals Group, said: “This is an additional measure we have taken to try to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 at UHL, and we would like to thank all those involved in the introduction of this project.”
The skin temperature monitoring system is a safe, non-invasive thermal imaging process that has been calibrated to detect temperatures greater than 37.5 degrees Celsius.
High temperature may be a sign of fever, which is a common symptom of Covid-19, and the system will help identify anyone with an elevated temperature — and possibly infected with Covid-19 — and prevent transmission of the infection within the hospital.
The system encompasses a temperature detection unit, a calibration unit, and a laptop that displays the image of the people passing through the detection point.
Any visitor with a temperature detected in excess of 37.5 degrees Celsius will not be permitted on the hospital site. They will be provided with an information leaflet and advised to seek guidance from their GP.
Members of the public attending a hospital appointment at UHL who are detected with a high temperature, will have their temperature rechecked manually. Patients whose temperature remains elevated will be asked to wait until clinicians assess the risk to the patient of not attending the scheduled appointment.
Any member of staff detected with a high temperature will be required to return home and contact their line manager after a manual temperature is taken.
Thermal imaging is a safe and non-invasive process, which involves no radiation. The system has been installed at UHL to reinforce a number of measures we have introduced to ensure a safe working and clinical environment for all patients and staff.
UL Hospitals Group would like to take this opportunity to thank the public of the Mid-West for their cooperation with the various measures we have introduced at UHL and across all of our sites, to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infection.