New CF Day Care Center Opens in Ireland, Home to World’s Highest CF Carrier Rates

Daniela Semedo, PhD avatar

by Daniela Semedo, PhD |

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The Mayo University Hospital in Ireland has a new €1.4 million day care center for young cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, a much-needed addition in a country with the highest incidence and highest carrier rate of CF in the world.

The center, which opened on Jan. 15, 2016, was developed through collaboration between the Mayo University Hospital/HSE, the Cystic Fibrosis Ireland (a voluntary organization set up by parents in 1963 to improve treatment and facilities for CF patients in Ireland) and CF West (a regional CF hospital building fund).

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said in a news release: “It is just over two years ago that I was given the honour of turning the first sod on the site of the new Day Care Centre and Outpatient facility for people with Cystic Fibrosis in Mayo University Hospital. I am delighted to be returning to officially open the new facility in Castlebar. Everybody involved with this project can be immensely proud of their achievement.”

The prime minister added: “Cystic Fibrosis is the most common genetically inherited disease in Ireland and the need for such a facility is well recognized. Despite our small size, we have the highest proportion of people anywhere living with this condition. That is why the completion of this facility is such a significant milestone for improving health care services in the West. This unit represents the gold standard in terms of the care environment for Cystic Fibrosis patients.”

One in 19 Irish people carry the altered CF gene, and a child born to parents who both have the altered gene has a 1 in 4 chance of developing the disease.

The new day center comprises consulting rooms with an innovative air filtration system to reduce the risk of cross infection, a major problem in all CF centers. Of the total cost of the project, €800,000 was offered by CF West /Cystic Fibrosis Ireland and €600,000 was offered by the HSE/Mayo University Hospital and the National Lottery.

Regional care centers are considered an important part of CF care, enabling timely and regular patient assessment and are particularly helpful in treating children and young patients.

“This new centre will increase the life expectancy and improve the quality of life of the many CF patients in Mayo. It provides two specialist patient areas, treatment facilities, education laboratory, conference and support facilities all integrated into the main hospital’s infrastructure,” said Dr. Michael O’Neill, consultant pediatrician and head of the CF team at Mayo University Hospital.

Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system, causes thick mucus to build in the lungs, leading to repeat severe infections.