Departments A - Z

Information for Health Professionals

The unit provides facilities for the safe management of probable or confirmed cases of Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers (VHF) and/or other hazard category 4 infectious pathogens. 

Most patients admitted to the National Isolation Unit (NIU), according to their risk assessment, will be managed in a negative pressure patient isolator with circulated HEPA filtered air.

Infections include:

1. Influenza
Avian Influenza & initial cases of Human Pandemic Influenza
2. Specific Agents of Biosafety Level 3+ Laboratories/Bioterrorism
  • Smallpox
  • Plague
  • Tularaemia
  • Anthrax
  • Viral Haemorrhagic Fever
  • SARS
3. Multi-drug & Extensive-drug Resistant Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (MDRTB & XDRTB)

Referral Procedures

There are 4 potential referral and transfer routes by which a patient can be admitted to the National Isolation Unit (NIU).

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1. MMUH Emergency Department (ED) referral
2. MMUH general hospital wards referral post initial admission via the Emergency Department
3. GP, other hospital / trust or by Public Health referral
  • In this case please contact the switchboard (01 803 2000) who will direct your call to the Infectious Diseases consultant/registrar on call
  • Patient transfer will be by dedicated ambulance service using agreed infection control policies (e.g. Category 3 ambulance transfer)
  • The ambulance will be designed & equipped for the transport, advanced treatment and monitoring of such patients
  • The ambulance will arrive at the Berkeley St. entrance, from where the patient is transferred to the NIU.
  • The ambulance and crew will undergo decontamination according to their protocols in the designated area within the NIU
4. Patient transferred from overseas or identified at entry into Ireland (airport/port)
  • Patients will be met by a designated ambulance and transferred to the NIU via the MMUH Berkeley St. entrance
  • These transfers will be undertaken on behalf of the Department of Health by designated personnel and the MMUH staff


For any of the above scenarios, the decision to accept a patient and activate the ID Emergency Plan will only be made by the Infectious Diseases Consultant on-call (the Primary ID consultant).

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