Impossible to predict how long COVID-19 guidelines in place for UHK maternity ward

It is not possible to predict how long safety measures in the University Hospital Kerry maternity unit will be required.

Changes have been in place in recent months due to COVID-19.

Maternity units across the South/South West Hospital Group, which includes University Hospital Kerry, say they are following the current guidance of the National Women and Infants Health Programme.

A spokesperson for UHK says the guidelines mean women admitted for induction of labour or who are in labour can have one nominated companion.

This companion can only join the woman when she is in labour or called for caesarean section.

In UHK, the presence of the nominated companion during the caesarean section is discussed with the anaesthetist who makes a decision on their attendance in theatre following a risk assessment of the theatre environment at that time.

A spokesperson says it is not possible to predict how long these safety measures will be required and the health and wellbeing of mothers and babies is paramount to the hospital at all times.