Drunk teens treated ahead of sick baby on St Patrick's Day
AN angry young mum has hit out after being left waiting on a chair with her sick baby while a children's hospital emergency department dealt with drunken teenagers on St Patrick's Day.
Suzy Brien (23) and her partner Calvin Ruddell, from Ashbourne, Co Meath, took baby Charlie to Temple Street Children's Hospital shortly after noon on Thursday.
The tot, who is only seven-months-old, has bronchitis and was vomiting.
However, on arrival the couple were shocked to see several intoxicated teenagers, some of whom were vomiting while others were verbally abusive.
The couple had to wait with Charlie while drunken teens were given beds as staff sought to treat them for alcohol poisoning.
"We were left in the waiting room for two-and-a-half hours which is fine because I know they are busy, but it was hard to see teenagers getting carted in to a cubicle straight away," Suzy told the Herald.
Charlie was assessed by a nurse 20 minutes after their arrival. Two hours later, a doctor determined he needed to be put on a nebuliser to help him breathe.
The couple were allowed into a cubicle to administer the nebuliser, but Charlie was only able to take half of the medicine and his parents managed to settle him to sleep on the bed.
However, they were then asked to leave the cubicle to allow a teenager to sleep off the effects of too much booze.
"When you're trying to get a nebuliser around a seven-month-old who's screaming and then you're sent out of the cubicle, it's a nightmare," said Suzy.
"You couldn't fault the staff, they're really good. It was just the fact that those teenagers woke up yesterday morning and they weren't sick. To see them getting them prioritised was awful."
Suzy shared her story with 98fm show Dublin Talks to highlight the problems faced by the emergency department.
Five teenagers aged from 13 to 16 were taken by ambulance to Temple Street between noon and 2pm on Thursday.
A hospital spokeswoman confirmed that the teens "did cause some delay to other patients being seen, but none of the teenagers had to be admitted and all went home yesterday".
"Our director of nursing also confirmed there was no compromising of care in this instance," she said.
"Unfortunately, parents of small children were exposed to these teens being brought in because of the way in which the ED is configured."