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Marymount Hospice opens new pain treatment unit – first of its kind in Europe

Author: Mary Ellen Breen
23 September 2015
  • Roy Keane and patient Patricia O'Donovan pictured at Marymount University Hospital & Hospice in its new interventional pain service facility at Marymount, Curraheen, Cork. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
  • Dr. John Browne, consultant pain specialist and Irish football manager Martin O'Neill pictured at Marymount University Hospital & Hospice in its new interventional pain service facility at Marymount, Curraheen, Cork. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
  • Roy Keane pictured with patient Josephine O'Brien Whitmarsh, sons John (7), Beineon (15) and Joseph (10) at Marymount University Hospital & Hospice in its new interventional pain service facility at Marymount, Curraheen, Cork. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
  • Roy Keane pictured with Paul Whitmarsh whose wife Josephine O'Brien Whitmarsh is a patient, at Marymount University Hospital & Hospice in its new interventional pain service facility at Marymount, Curraheen, Cork. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
  • Roy Keane pictured with patient Sr Augusta and nurse Majella Walsh at Marymount University Hospital & Hospice in its new interventional pain service facility at Marymount, Curraheen, Cork. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Marymount University Hospital & Hospice officially opened its new groundbreaking interventional pain service facility at Marymount, Curraheen, Cork today.

Republic of Ireland’s soccer management team Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane performed the official opening.

Anaesthetist Dr. John Browne instigated the interventional pain service for patients with severe pain.  Professor Tony O’Brien, Medical Director and 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 patients suites and a procedure room with x-ray and recovery facilities.

The in-house service is an incredible 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 drugs can treat roughly 90% of cancer pain about 10% of patients need intervention 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, treated and allowed to recover,” said Dr. Browne.

“The new unit is a very good example of interdisciplinary cooperation on the treatment of cancer pain. We the new hospice and the development of the new unit within the complex shows great foresight by the palliative care physicians to incorporate this unit into it,” he added.

The interventional pain unit has just completed its first year in operation. It has carried out 250 procedures over the last 12months.

The unit, built by Marymount, is financed to the HSE, who according to Dr. Browne showed great foresight in supporting the financing the staffing of 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.

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