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UCC Anaesthesiology Newsletter - December/January

30 Jan 2023

In the first UCC Anesthesiology Newsletter of 2023 we warmly welcome those who have changed over to new hospitals in the last month. We hope the next rotation is rich in learning and personal growth. In particular, we wish colleagues who are taking exams in the upcoming months well and congratulate those who passed the Final Fellowship in December.

In this edition, Professor Dominic Hegarty discusses the new digital remote patient management platform called Get Ready™. Cork is the first European pain management centre to provide such an integrated health solution.

UCC medical students with an interest in anaesthesia have been successful nationally in the CAI Medical Student Competition and NUI Henry Hutchinson Stewart Scholarship Competition. Such an outstanding display of interest in anaesthesia at medical student stages is heartening and also highlights the importance of supporting medical students throughout clinical placements in anaesthesia.

We highlight some of the departmental festive celebrations, and we also hear of a link between a UCC Medical graduate, a Maharaja and the Timoleague Mosaics.

As always, we welcome clinical, academic and social submissions from colleagues in the region and beyond.

First European Pain Centre to Launch Get ready™

Photo: Professor Hegarty with Ms Niamh McLoughlin (Medtronic Ireland) and Mr Bhavesh Barot (Regional VP Medtronic) at the launch at the Private Hospital Association Conference Dublin 2022.

Cork is the first European Pain Management Centre to provide an Integrated Health Solution. Launched by Professor Dominic Hegarty in a partnership between the Mater Private Hospital and Medtronic’s European Integrated Health Solutions (IHS) team, the Get Ready™ platform is a digital remote patient management solution for truly connected care.

The platform provides each individual with an automated sequence of questions on their phone. Using artificial intelligence and specific algorithms designed by Professor Hegarty this platform can help identify where individuals are on their recovery pathway following pain procedures. Based on the combination of responses individuals can be directed automatically into the next treatment option. This will avoid unnecessary clinical and procedure appointments with both economic and efficiency benefits across the system.

“The flexibility in the Get Ready’s® platform to support patients through a potentially complex course of treatment is a key reason we have worked to bring this as part of our service” according to Professor Dominic Hegarty.

The Integrated Health Solution was formally launched in December at the Private Hospitals Association Conference in Dublin.


The PRactical Obstetric Multi-Professional Training Course (PROMPT):

The PRactical Obstetric Multi-Professional Training Course (PROMPT) provides a unique opportunity for midwives, obstetricians and anaesthesiologists to meet in a non-clinical environment for the common purpose of developing teamwork and improving outcomes of mothers and their babies. Such training has been shown to result in a 50% reduction in neonatal hypoxic brain injuries, a 70% reduction in injuries following shoulder dystocia, and improvements in the management of Category 1 emergency caesarean sections.

Another successful PROMPT course was held in the CUMH on December 6th. The format consisted of on-line lectures on teamwork and clinical topics such as CTG interpretation, pre-eclampsia and maternal collapse which are viewed in advance. On the day of the course, multi-disciplinary teams rotated through various workshops, including shoulder dystocia, sepsis, and anaesthetic emergencies.

The faculty for the Anaesthetic Emergencies and Maternal Collapse Workshop were Ms Mary Prince (CNM 2), Dr Damian Barry and Dr Oonagh Hickey (Consultant Anaesthesiologists, CUH), and the scenarios included local anaesthetic toxicity, failed intubation and maternal cardiac arrest.

PROMPT Maternity Foundation


CAI Medical Student Competition:

Ms Aoife Leonard, 3rd Year Graduate Entry Medical Student, UCC, whose essay “Patient Safety in Anaesthesia - Have We Made Progress?” won the 2022 CAI Medical Student Competition. She is photographed presenting her essay at the recent National Patient Safety in Anaesthesia Conference (photo credit Dave Coleman, Bobby Studios). Aoife described presenting at the conference as “a brilliant experience” and said that she was delighted to be representing UCC. She has an interest in pursuing a career in anaesthesia and she has certainly made a strong start in this regard.


The NUI Henry Hutchinson Stewart Prizes in Anaesthesia 2022:

Congratulations to Ms Anne Marie O’Brien, Final Year Medicine UCC, who won the NUI Henry Hutchinson Stewart (HHS) Scholarship in Anaesthesia 2022 for her essay responding to the question “The COVID pandemic resulted in the vast numbers of people with varying degrees of respiratory failure. What options are there for treating respiratory failure in this context? What factors would influence decision making?”. Anne Marie discussed differences in respiratory failure in those with COVID-19 and without; potential oxygen therapies, intubation and ventilation, prone positioning and ECMO.

Mr Gerald Ying Zhi Tan, also in Final Year Medicine UCC, won 3rd Prize in Anaesthesia in the HHS Scholarship competition. Gerald’s essay was titled “Do long-acting opioids have a place in postoperative pain management?”

Other NUI HHS Anaesthesia essay title choices included discussing “why does every unconscious patient not get admitted to ICU?” and “the importance and potential harm of slogans in healthcare such as ‘Think Sepsis’”.


Festive Coffee and a Gas, CUH:

On the 15th of December, the Department of Anaesthesia, CUH, held a festive “Coffee and Gas”. Treats were also distributed to clinical areas including the Theatre Complex, the Delivery Suite of the CUMH, the ICU and to the cardiac theatres as a gesture of thanks to our colleagues for the teamwork and comradery shown throughout the year.

The Coffee and a Gas Program is a wellbeing initiative which is endorsed by the Association of Anaesthetists and facilitates members of anaesthesia departments meeting in a non-clinical environment to chat.


Winter Solstice Pizza:

The CUH Anaesthetic Department celebrated the shortest day of the year with pizza and cookies. Any excuse for a party!


The Decorate Your Door Competition, CUMH:

Dr Niamh Coughlan, SAT 2, is pictured (photo left) with the Anaesthetic Department submission for the CUMH Christmas “Decorate Your Door Competition”. The joint winners were the “Birthing Sweet” (photo right), the Neonatology Department and the CUMH ED.

Niamh also was the winner of this year’s CUH Anaesthesia Christmas Quiz, organised by Dr Orna Ni Choileain SAT3. DIT’s braved a cold morning on the 14th of December to take part in the quiz which involved 4 testing rounds and culminated in Niamh’s victory, taking home the festive scrub hat.


The CUH Non-Denominational Winter Themed Anonymous Gift Exchange (NDWTAGE):

Dr Sara Coffey (SHO) co-ordinated this year’s Non-Denominational Winter Themed Anonymous Gift Exchange (also known as Secret Santa). The secret gifts included books, body lotions and cookie scented bath bombs.


Baby News:

We congratulate Dr Sarah Galea (SpR MUH) and her husband Paul on the arrival of baby Cassian (photo).

We also congratulate Dr Zafar Khan (Anaesthetic Registrar, CUH) and his wife Ayesha on the arrival of baby Muhammad Jawad.


Fossil fun:

CC’s Ireland’s Fossil Heritage programme is inviting young artists from across Ireland to take part in Ireland’s second national fossil-themed art contest. The theme of the contest is “Irish Fossils ALIVE”. Details can be found in the link below and the closing date for submissions is Friday 31st.

Fossil Art | University College Cork (


The Doctor, the Maharajah and the Timoleague Mosaics:

Visitors to Timoleague, West Cork, will note the impressive ruins of Timoleague Franciscan Abbey which are well worth exploring. Some may have also visited the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, the Roman Catholic Church, which boasts some spectacular Harry Clarke stained-glass windows and a bell tower which echo’s the round towers favoured by early Christian monasteries.

However, the Anglican Church of the Ascension is a hidden gem. The existing church was built in 1811. It has a rather controversial history- in 1832, Reverend Charles Ferguson was murdered in a disagreement about tithes. Bishop John Gregg refused to consecrate the chancel added in 1863 as the stained glass window showed an image of the crucifixion, which was felt to contravene the accepted Anglican ethos at the time. The offending window was twice attacked, and it was then concealed by a curtain until the early 20th century.

The first set of mosaics were commissioned by Robert Augustus Travers in 1894, featuring a star of David, a pelican and a lamb. The work was undertaken by Italian craftsmen, who first laid out the mosaics on the lawn of the nearby Timoleague House. A spectacular baptismal font in the shape of an angel, crafted from Italian marble, was dedicated to the memory of his wife, Maud Travers. On the left side of the church is a memorial in mosaic to Spencer Robert Valentine Travers, Lieutenant of the 7th Royal Munster Fusiliers, who died aged 22 during the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915 during World War I.

The second set of mosaics were added between 1918 and 1925, dedicated to Surgeon-General Alymer Martin Crofts and financed by Maharaja Madho Rao Scindia of Gwalior of India (both in the attached photo below). Almyer Crofts had links with Timoleague and studied medicine at UCC, graduating in 1876. He joined the Indian Medical Service and in 1886 he was appointed resident surgeon at Gwalior. He became the tutor and mentor of the young Maharaja and, in due course, he was credited with saving the life of the Maharaja’s son when he became ill. Dr Crofts died in 1915 and the Maharaja paid for the mosaics in memory of his “faithful and devoted friend”. The Maharaja died in 1925, the year that the work was finished.

In his book “A Companion Guide to Architecture in Ireland 1837—1921”, architect Jeremy Williams described the interior as “an extra-ordinary blend of the European and the Islamic”... “transcending the divide between Irish Catholic and Protestant, the Indian Muslim and Hindu, personal friendships breaking up distinctions of caste and colour”. In 2021, the mosaics of the Church of the Ascension were the county winners for Cork in the county awards of Ireland's National Heritage Week.

Sadly, the mosaics have become increasingly threatened by water seeping into the church and a major renovation project is underway, with cross denominational support from the local community who are rightly very proud of this very special building. A Christmas Concert was recently held at the nearby Catholic Church to raise much needed funds for both churches. The conservation project was recently shortlisted for the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) John Betjeman award, which celebrates excellence in the restoration of places of worship of all denominations and faith across the UK and Ireland. The Honan Chapel, UCC, ultimately won the Irish Category award.

Donations can be made on the GOFUNDME page at Reverend Kingsley Sutton has produced a video on the church and the renovations so far which is also found on the website in the “links” section. You can follow the progress on the Facebook page “Timoleague Mosaics” and also receive notification of open days. The accompanying photos were taken on one of these open days and do not do justice to the interior of the building, which is best viewed in person.


You will receive a warm welcome.


Unique Church | Timoleague Mosaics | County Cork

Church of the Ascension Timoleague | Roaringwater Journal

Church of the Ascension, Timoleague - Wikipedia

From Timoleague in Ireland to Gwalior in India (



Dr Clare Keaveney Jimenez, SpR, CUH.

Dr Oonagh Hickey, Consultant Anaesthesiologist, CUH





Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine