Research by staff affiliated to the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin

Recent Submissions

  • Survey on ART and IUI: legislation, regulation, funding and registries in European countries: The European IVF-monitoring Consortium (EIM) for the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE).

    Calhaz-Jorge, C; De Geyter, C H; Kupka, M S; Wyns, C; Mocanu, E; Motrenko, T; Scaravelli, G; Smeenk, J; Vidakovic, S; Goossens, V (2020-02-06)
    Study question: How are ART and IUI regulated, funded and registered in European countries? Summary answer: Of the 43 countries performing ART and IUI in Europe, and participating in the survey, specific legislation exists in only 39 countries, public funding (also available in the 39 countries) varies across and sometimes within countries and national registries are in place in 31 countries. What is known already: Some information devoted to particular aspects of accessibility to ART and IUI is available, but most is fragmentary or out-dated. Annual reports from the European IVF-Monitoring (EIM) Consortium for ESHRE clearly mirror different approaches in European countries regarding accessibility to and efficacy of those techniques. Study design size duration: A survey was designed using the online SurveyMonkey tool consisting of 55 questions concerning three domains-legal, funding and registry. Answers refer to the countries' situation on 31 December 2018. Participants/materials settings methods: All members of EIM plus representatives of countries not yet members of the Consortium were invited to participate. Answers received were checked, and initial responders were asked to address unclear answers and to provide any additional information they considered important. Tables of individual countries resulting from the consolidated data were then sent to members of the Committee of National Representatives of ESHRE, asking for a second check. Conflicting information was clarified by direct contact. Main results and the role of chance: Information was received from 43 out of the 44 European countries where ART and IUI are performed. Thirty-nine countries reported specific legislation on ART, and artificial insemination was considered an ART technique in 35 of them. Accessibility is limited to infertile couples in 11 of the 43 countries. A total of 30 countries offer treatments to single women and 18 to female couples. In five countries ART and IUI are permitted for treatment of all patient groups, being infertile couples, single women and same sex couples, male and female. Use of donated sperm is allowed in 41 countries, egg donation in 38, the simultaneous donation of sperm and egg in 32 and embryo donation in 29. Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) for monogenic disorders or structural rearrangements is not allowed in two countries, and PGT for aneuploidy is not allowed in 11; surrogacy is accepted in 16 countries. With the exception of marital/sexual situation, female age is the most frequently reported limiting criteria for legal access to ART-minimal age is usually set at. 18 years and maximum ranging from 45 to 51 years with some countries not using numeric definition. Male maximum age is set in very few countries. Where permitted, age is frequently a limiting criterion for third-party donors (male maximum age 35 to 55 years; female maximum age 34 to 38 years). Other legal constraints in third-party donation are the number of children born from the same donor (in some countries, number of families with children from the same donor) and, in 10 countries, a maximum number of egg donations. How countries deal with the anonymity is diverse-strict anonymity, anonymity just for the recipients (not for children when reaching legal adulthood age), mixed system (anonymous and non-anonymous donations) and strict non-anonymity.Public funding systems are extremely variable. Four countries provide no financial assistance to patients. Limits to the provision of funding are defined in all the others i.e. age (female maximum age is the most used), existence of previous children, maximum number of treatments publicly supported and techniques not entitled for funding. In a few countries, reimbursement is linked to a clinical policy. The definition of the type of expenses covered within an IVF/ICSI cycle, up to what limit and the proportion of out-of-pocket costs for patients is also extremely dissimilar.National registries of ART and IUI are in place in 31 out of the 43 countries contributing to the survey, and a registry of donors exists in 18 of them. Limitations reasons for caution: The responses were provided by well-informed and committed individuals and submitted to double checking. Since no formal validation was in place, possible inaccuracies cannot be excluded. Also, results are a cross section in time and ART and IUI legislations within European countries undergo continuous evolution. Finally, several domains of ART activity were deliberately left out of the scope of this ESHRE survey. Wider implications of the findings: Results of this survey offer a detailed view of the ART and IUI situation in European countries. It provides updated and extensive answers to many relevant questions related to ART usage at national level and could be used by institutions and policymakers in planning services at both national and European levels. Study funding/competing interests: The study has no external funding, and all costs were covered by ESHRE. There were no competing interests.ESHRE Pages are not externally peer reviewed. This article has been approved by the Executive Committee of ESHRE.
  • Gestational weight gain counselling practices among different antenatal health care providers: a qualitative grounded theory study.

    Murray-Davis, Beth; Berger, Howard; Melamed, Nir; Mawjee, Karizma; Syed, Maisah; Barrett, Jon; Ray, Joel G; Geary, Michael; McDonald, Sarah D (2020-02-12)
    Background: Inappropriate gestational weight gain in pregnancy may negatively impact health outcomes for mothers and babies. While optimal gestational weight gain is often not acheived, effective counselling by antenatal health care providers is recommended. It is not known if gestational weight gain counselling practices differ by type of antenatal health care provider, namely, family physicians, midwives and obstetricians, and what barriers impede the delivery of such counselling. The objective of this study was to understand the counselling of family physicians, midwives and obstetricians in Ontario and what factors act as barriers and enablers to the provision of counselling about GWG. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven family physicians, six midwives and five obstetricians in Ontario, Canada, where pregnancy care is universally covered. Convenience and purposive sampling techniques were employed. A grounded theory approach was used for data analysis. Codes, categories and themes were generated using NVIVO software. Results: Providers reported that they offered gestational weight gain counselling to all patients early in pregnancy. Counselling topics included gestational weight gain targets, nutrition & exercise, gestational diabetes prevention, while dispelling misconceptions about gestational weight gain. Most do not routinely address the adverse outcomes linked to gestational weight gain, or daily caloric intake goals for pregnancy. The health care providers all faced similar barriers to counselling including patient attitudes, social and cultural issues, and accessibility of resources. Patient enthusiasm and access to a dietician motivated health care providers to provide more in-depth gestational weight gain counselling. Conclusion: Reported gestational weight gain counselling practices were similar between midwives, obstetricians and family physicians. Antenatal knowledge translation tools for patients and health care providers are needed, and would seem to be suitable for use across all three types of health care provider specialties.
  • Impact of diabetes, obesity and hypertension on preterm birth: Population-based study.

    Berger, Howard; Melamed, Nir; Davis, Beth Murray; Hasan, Haroon; Mawjee, Karizma; Barrett, Jon; McDonald, Sarah D; Geary, Michael; Ray, Joel G (2020-03-25)
    Objective: To determine the impact of pre-pregnancy diabetes mellitus (D), obesity (O) and chronic hypertension (H) on preterm birth (PTB). Methods: Retrospective population-based cohort study in Ontario, Canada between 2012-2016. Women who had a singleton livebirth or stillbirth at > 20 weeks gestation were included in the cohort. Exposures of interest were D, O and H, individually, and in various combinations. The primary outcome was PTB at 241/7 to 366/7 weeks. PTB was further analyzed by spontaneous or provider-initiated, early (< 34 weeks) or late (34-37 weeks), and the co-presence of preeclampsia, large for gestational age (LGA), and small for gestational age (SGA). Multivariable Poisson regression models with robust error variance were used to generate relative risks (RR), further adjusted for maternal age and parity (aRR). Population attributable fractions (PAF) were calculated for each of the outcomes by exposure state. Results: 506,483 women were eligible for analysis. 30,139 pregnancies (6.0%) were complicated by PTB < 37 weeks, of which 7375 (24.5%) had D or O or H. Relative to women without D or O or H, the aRR for PTB < 37 weeks was higher for D (3.51; 95% CI 3.26-3.78) and H (3.81; 95% CI 3.55-4.10) than O (1.14; 95% CI 1.10-1.17). The combined state of DH was associated with a significantly higher aRR of PTB < 37 weeks (6.34; 95% CI 5.14-7.80) and < 34 weeks (aRR 10.33, 95% CI 6.96-15.33) than D alone. The risk of provider initiated PTB was generally higher than that for spontaneous PTB. Pre-pregnancy hypertension was associated with the highest risk for PTB with preeclampsia (aRR 45.42, 95% CI 39.69-51.99) and PTB with SGA (aRR 9.78, 95% CI 7.81-12.26) while pre-pregnancy diabetes was associated with increased risk for PTB with LGA (aRR 28.85, 95% CI 24.65-33.76). Conclusion: Combinations of DOH significantly magnify the risk of PTB, especially provider initiated PTB, and PTB with altered fetal growth or preeclampsia.
  • ART in Europe, 2015: results generated from European registries by ESHRE.

    De Geyter, C; Calhaz-Jorge, C; Kupka, M S; Wyns, C; Mocanu, E; Motrenko, T; Scaravelli, G; Smeenk, J; Vidakovic, S; Goossens, V (2020-02-24)
    Study question: What are the European trends and developments in ART and IUI in 2015 as compared to previous years? Summary answer: The 19th ESHRE report on ART shows a continuing expansion of treatment numbers in Europe, and this increase, the variability in treatment modalities and the rising contribution to the birth rates in most participating countries all point towards the increasing impact of ART on European society. What is known already: Since 1997, the ART data generated by national registries have been collected, analysed and reported in 18 manuscripts published in Human Reproduction. Study design size duration: Collection of European data by the European IVF-Monitoring Consortium (EIM) for ESHRE. The data for treatments performed between 1 January and 31 December 2015 in 38 European countries were provided by national registries or on a voluntary basis by clinics or professional societies. Participants/materials settings methods: From 1343 institutions in 38 countries offering ART services a total of 849 811 treatment cycles, involving 155 960 with IVF, 385676 with ICSI, 218098 with frozen embryo replacement (FER), 21 041 with preimplantation genetic testing (PGT), 64 477 with egg donation (ED), 265 with IVM and 4294 with FOR were recorded. European data on IUI using husband/partner's semen (IUI-H) and donor semen (IUI-D) were reported from 1352 institutions offering IUI in 25 countries and 21 countries, respectively. A total of 139 050 treatments with IUI-H and 49 001 treatments with IUI-D were included. Main results and the role of chance: In 18 countries (14 in 2014) with a population of approximately 286 million inhabitants, in which all institutions contributed to their respective national registers, a total of 409 771 treatment cycles were performed, corresponding to 1432 cycles per million inhabitants (range: 727-3068 per million). After IVF the clinical pregnancy rates (PRs) per aspiration and per transfer were slightly lower in 2015 as compared to 2014, at 28.5 and 34.6% versus 29.9 and 35.8%, respectively. After ICSI, the corresponding PR achieved per aspiration and per transfer in 2015 were also slightly lower than those achieved in 2014 (26.2 and 33.2% versus 28.4 and 35.0%, respectively). On the other hand, after FER with own embryos the PR per thawing continued to rise from 27.6% in 2014 to 29.2% in 2015. After ED a slightly lower PR per embryo transfer was achieved: 49.6% per fresh transfer (50.3% in 2014) and 43.4% for FOR (48.7% in 2014). The delivery rates (DRs) after IUI remained stable at 7.8% after IUI-H (8.5% in 2014) and at 12.0% after IUI-D (11.6% in 2014). In IVF and ICSI together, 1, 2, 3 and ≥4 embryos were transferred in 37.7, 53.9, 7.9 and in 0.5% of all treatments, respectively (corresponding to 34.9, 54.5, 9.9 and in 0.7% in 2014). This evolution towards the transfer of fewer embryos in both IVF and ICSI resulted in a proportion of singleton, twin and triplet DR of 83.1, 16.5 and 0.4%, respectively (compared to 82.5, 17.0 and 0.5%, respectively, in 2014). Treatments with FER in 2015 resulted in twin and triplet DR of 12.3 and 0.3%, respectively (versus 12.4 and 0.3% in 2014). Twin and triplet delivery rates after IUI-H were 8.9 and 0.5%, respectively (in 2014: 9.5 and 0.3%), and 7.3 and 0.6% after IUI-D (in 2014: 7.7 and 0.3%). Limitations reasons for caution: The methods of data collection and reporting vary among European countries. The EIM receives aggregated data from various countries with variable levels of completeness. Registries from a number of countries have failed to provide adequate data about the number of initiated cycles and deliveries. As long as incomplete data are provided, the results should be interpreted with caution. Wider implications of the findings: The 19th EIM report on ART shows a continuing expansion of treatment numbers in Europe. The number of treatments reported, the variability in treatment modalities and the rising contribution to the birth rates in most participating countries point towards the increasing impact of ART on reproduction in Europe. Being the largest data collection on ART worldwide, detailed information about ongoing developments in the field is provided. Study funding/competing interests: The study has no external funding and all costs are covered by ESHRE. There are no competing interests.
  • Factors Contributing to Non-Exclusive Breastfeeding in Primigravid Mothers

    Panaviene, J.; Zakharchenko, L.; Olteanu, D.; Cullen, M.; EL-Khuffash, E.L (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-10)
    We aimed to examine the factors contributing to non-exclusive breastfeeding in primigravid mothers in a large Irish tertiary maternity hospital.
  • Impact of Introduction of a Clinical Pathway for the Management of Pyelonephritis on Obstetric Patients: a Quality Improvement Project

    Clooney, L; Ronayne, A; Glennon, K; Brennan, M; Hickey, N; Magee, C; Cooley, S; Eogan, M; Drew, R.J (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-06)
    Acute pyelonephritis is one of the most common medical complications of pregnancy. It occurs in 0.5–2% of pregnant women and can result in significant maternal and fetal morbidity1,2. Additionally there is a financial burden on the hospital due to prolonged inpatient stays, increased preterm birth rate and associated neonatal care 3. Although there have been many studies evaluating the benefit of treating asymptomatic bacteriuria to prevent pyelonephritis in pregnancy, there is little recent evidence around how to treat pyelonephritis in pregnancy 4-6. In 1995 a study was published which showed the benefit of ceftriaxone in pregnancy, when compared to cefazolin but did not address issues such as prophylaxis during the remaining pregnancy and need for additional gentamicin
  • Awareness and Preventative Behaviours Regarding Toxoplasma, Listeria and Cytomegalovirus Among Pregnant Women

    Basit, I; Crowley, D; Geary, M; Kirkham, C; Mc Dermott, R; Cafferkey, M; Sayers, G (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-06)
    Serious fetal infections can be transmitted transplacentally or perinatally. Vaccination is a key prevention method as shown by the dramatic reduction of congenital rubella. Reducing the risk of toxoplasmosis, listeriosis and CMV in pregnancy requires knowledge of their epidemiology and appropriate prevention strategies in the absence of vaccines. Primary infection with Toxoplasma gondii occurs following ingestion of active or inactive cysts. Sources of cysts include undercooked or raw meat (e.g. uncooked or dried meats), contaminated unwashed cooking surfaces and utensils, contaminated cat litter, soil and water supplies, unwashed soil-grown fruits and vegetables, unpasteurised milk, and less frequently, transplanted organs and blood products. Primary toxoplasmosis in pregnancy can lead to chorioretinitis, deafness, microcephaly, developmental delay, late onset of ocular defects, and stillbirth.
  • Early Onset Neonatal E.Coli Sepsis

    O’Rahelly, M.; Smith, A.; Drew, R.; McCallion, N. (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-02)
    Neonatal sepsis is a major cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality in term and preterm infants. The timely identification of infants at risk of infection is of particular importance in the vulnerable preterm group1 and is a major focus of microbiological research in the Rotunda Hospital. E.coli accounts for approximately 14.1% of early onset sepsis, i.e. sepsis before 72 hours of age in our centre. E.coli is the second most common pathogen, along with coagulase negative Staphylococcus, after group B Streptococcus (GBS)2.
  • Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injuries: A Survey of Clinical Practice and Education among Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in Ireland

    Abdelrahman, M; Geary, M; Eogan, M (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-01)
    This paper summarises results of a survey of obstetricians in Ireland regarding their technique, management, and education on episiotomy and Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injury (OASIS). An anonymous survey was emailed to all obstetricians and gynaecologists in Ireland, including trainees between January and September 2017. The response rate was 45% (155/343) with 111 out of 144 (77%) reported clinical experience as part of their training and 92 (64%) attended an OASIS workshop or classroom teaching. The majority prescribe antibiotics and laxatives post-op, request physiotherapy review and follow-up patients in outpatient settings. We identified that most specialists and trainees practice within guidelines, but some recognise a need for further teaching and exposure to these types of injuries. These results will direct future curriculum and optimise ongoing training for trainees, unify service provision and contribute to patient safety.
  • Rotunda Hospital: Clinical Report 2010

    Rotunda Hospital (Rotunda Hospital, 2010)
  • Rotunda Hospital: clinical report 2011

    Rotunda Hospital (Rotunda Hospital, 2012)
  • Staff Attitudes towards Patient Safety Culture and Working Conditions in an Irish Tertiary Neonatal Unit

    Dwyer, L; Smith, A; McDermott, R; Breatnach, C; El-Khuffash, A; Corcoran, JD; Rotunda Hospital, Dublin (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-07)
    There is little published research evaluating attitudes towards patient safety culture and working conditions in neonatal units. This study aimed to explore this within a Level III Irish neonatal unit setting.
  • The Triangular Sign, a Useful Diagnostic Marker for Biliary Atresia: A Case Series of Three Irish Infants

    Smith, A; Shankar, A; Collins, A; Tarrant, A; Boyle, MA (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-06)
    The triangular cord (TC) sign is the appearance of a triangular shaped echogenic density visualised immediately cranial to the portal vein bifurcation on ultrasonographic examination. Several studies have reported that this ultrasonographic sign is a reliable and helpful marker in identifying Biliary Atresia (BA).
  • A Review of the Parenteral Nutrition Supply Service in an Irish Neonatal Unit

    Smith, A; Glynn, AC; Shankar, A; McDermott, C; McCallion, N (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-06)
    Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) patients have individual nutritional requirements often requiring Patient Specific Parenteral Nutrition (PSPN). From October 2015, the national PSPN compounding service availability changed from 7 days per week service to 5 days per week (i.e. no weekend and limited bank holiday ordering available). The aim of this study was to examine the introduction of a 5 day only PSPN supply on neonatal patient parenteral nutrition availability in a tertiary NICU.
  • The Utility of Routine Echocardiography in Newborn Infants with a Persistent Oxygen Requirement

    Walsh, N; Breathnach, C; El-Khuffash, A; Franklin, O; Corcoran, JD (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-05)
    In the era of antenatal screening for congenital heart disease (CHD), infants presenting with an undiagnosed significant CHD are rare. However, term infants admitted with an initial diagnosis of TTN and a prolonged oxygen requirement often undergo an echocardiogram. We aimed to assess whether this practice yields any additional cases of undiagnosed CHD. We performed a retrospective chart review over a three year period [2013 – 2015] of term (> 36 weeks) infants admitted to the NICU for ≥ 5 days with a diagnosis of TTN and received an echocardiogram. The presence of CHD on the echocardiogram was assessed. Forty-seven infants were enrolled. The median age of echocardiogram was day four [2 – 8]. No infant had a diagnosis of significant CHD on the postnatal echocardiogram. A small muscular VSD was identified in two infants. Routine echocardiography for this cohort of infants to rule out major CHD appears to be unwarranted.
  • Caesarean Section at Full Dilatation and Risk of Major Obstetric Haemorrhage

    O’Dwyer, V; Freyne, A; Joyce, N; Coulter-Smith, S (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-03)
    The purpose of the study was to examine the risk factors for caesarean section (CS) at full dilatation and to assess the risk and management of haemorrhage. The study took place in a tertiary referral maternity hospital. Women who had a CS at full dilatation were included. Clinical and demographic details were recorded. There were 199 cases. The average age was 30.3 years and average BMI was 25.8kg/m2. There were 79.9 % (159) primigravidas and 20.1% (40) multigravidas. The average gestation at delivery was 39.4 weeks. Labour was induced in 46.9 % (92) and spontaneous in 53.8% (107). Oxytocin was used in 67.8 % (135). An instrumental delivery was attempted in 46.7 % (93). The rate of malposition was 46.5 % (92). The average birthweight was 3,629g and 9 babies weighed ≥4.5kg. The average estimated blood loss (EBL) was 665mls and 34 had EBL>1L. Most had an oxytocin infusion (141). Other uterotonic agents were used in 70 women. Seven women had blood transfusions. The highest rate of CS at full dilatation was in primigravidas due to malposition. There was a low rate of major obstetric haemorrhage.
  • The use of cold coagulation for the treatment of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia

    Wyse, A; Seah, WA; O’Neill, J; Byrne, P (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-05)
    In 2015, Cold Coagulation was introduced as a treatment for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) at our colposcopy clinic. We reviewed the 6-month follow up data of the first 200 women who underwent Cold Coagulation using cytology and HPV status as tests of cure (TOC). A random sample of 200 patients treated by Large Loop Excision of the Transformation Zone (LLETZ) during the same period was used to compare treatment outcome. Six months following treatment,173 (86.5%) of the women treated by CC and 167 (83.5%) treated by LLETZ had negative cytology. (x2= P>0.05). 148 (74%) treated by Cold Coagulation and 166 (83%) treated by LLETZ were HPV negative (x2= P<0.05). One hundred and thirty-nine (70%) women treated by Cold Coagulation and 152 (76%) treated with LLETZ had normal cytology and were HPV negative. This audit of our initial experience supports the observation that Cold Coagulation is as effective as LLETZ in the management of CIN when cervical cytology is used as a test of cure.
  • Invasive meningococcal disease in children in Ireland, 2001-2011.

    Ó Maoldomhnaigh, Cilian; Drew, Richard J; Gavin, Patrick; Cafferkey, Mary; Butler, Karina M (2016-12)
    In 1999, invasive meningococcal disease was hyperendemic in Ireland at 14.75/100 000 population, with 60% group B and 30% group C diseases. National sepsis guidelines and meningococcal C vaccines were introduced in 2000. Despite a spontaneous decline in group B infection, invasive meningococcal disease remains a leading cause of sepsis. This study characterises the epidemiology of invasive meningococcal disease in children in Ireland since the introduction of meningococcal C vaccine and reviews its clinical presentation, hospital course and outcome in anticipation of meningococcal B vaccine introduction.
  • Neonatal Bacteraemia Among 112,360 Live Births

    Huggard, D; Drew, R; McCallion, N (Irish Medical Journal, 2016-10)
    Our aims were to determine the incidence of bacteraemia in a cohort of neonatal patients over a 14 year period, to describe the organisms involved, and to establish the rates of sepsis with regard to both early onset sepsis (EOS) and late onset sepsis (LOS). Lastly, we investigated the trends of neonatal sepsis, to determine whether changes in clinical practice influenced the rate of blood culture positivity. With regards to EOS, GBS was the predominant pathogen, followed by E.coli, CoNS, and S. aureus . The overall mean EO rate per 1000 live births (LBs) was 1.19. Looking at LOS, S. aureus , CoNS , Enterococcus spp. were the most common bacteria cultured. The mean LOS rate was 1.88 per 1000 live births. The overall rate of EOS remained fairly steady. GBS remains the major pathogen in EOS; however its incidence has remained largely unchanged over time in relation to both EOS and LOS. Conversely the rate of LOS peaked from ’05-’09, mainly due to an increase in Staphylococcus aureus , CoNS and Enterococcus spp. cases, and then improved dramatically in the following years. This was likely due to a change in hospital policies in relation to hand hygiene and intravenous line placement and maintenance.
  • Maternal Mortality in Women with Epilepsy

    Holohan, M (Irish Medical Journal, 2016-10)
    It is estimated that, in Ireland, there are 10,000 women with epilepsy of childbearing potential1. In this paper the maternal mortality rate for women with epilepsy attending the Rotunda Hospital Epilepsy Clinic 2004 - 2013 was determined. There were 3 maternal deaths in women with epilepsy during this time, which represents a mortality rate of 0.8%. In those women who died, there were concerns in relation to risks to the foetus by taking Anti-Epileptic Drugs (AED) and also issues with access to neurology services before pregnancy, acceptance of specialist support and lack of consistency in advice from health care professionals outside of Ireland. Implementing the nationally agreed care plan for women with epilepsy will improve the quality of care given and potentially we will see a reduction in maternal mortality in these women.

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