Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda

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Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital
Health Service Executive
Location Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland
Care system Louth Meath Hospital Group
Hospital type Regional
Affiliated university Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Emergency department Yes
Beds 340

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital (OLLH or OLOL) is a public hospital located in Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland,[1] part of the Louth Meath Hospital Group. It is managed by the Irish Government's Health Service Executive (HSE) and provides acute-care hospital services, including a 24-hour emergency department,[1] for the populations of County Louth, County Meath and the entire North East of Ireland. In 2008, the hospital served 110,844 out-patients, and 21,446 in-patients, with an average stay of 4.5 nights.[1] In 2007, 42,566 patients presented to the emergency department, of which 17,831 were admitted. 80.8% of all admissions were made via the accident and emergency department in 2008. The hospital saw 8,108 day cases in the same year. In 2008, there were 4,301 live births.[1] It is affiliated with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.[2][3]

The hospital was opened by the Medical Missionaries of Mary as the International Missionary Training Hospital (IMTH) in 1957, and was transferred to then North Eastern Health Board (now the HSE) in 1997.


The hospital provides 340 beds, of which 30 are reserved for acute day cases.[1] In-patient services include general medicine, general surgery, accident and emergency, dermatology, oncology, ophthalmology, obstetrics and gynaecology, cardiology, paediatrics, endocrinology, geriatrics, infectious disease, tropical medicine, otorhinolaryngology, palliative medicine, orthopaedics, urology, dental surgery, anaesthesia, intensive care, pathology, and radiology.[1][4]

Waiting times[edit]

Overall waiting time for all procedures was 2.1 months, below the national median of 2.4 months.[5]


Independent audits rated hygiene levels as 77% satisfactory in 2005,[6] rising to 88% in 2006.[7] Hospital-acquired infection affected 5.8% of patients in 2007, with a Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection rate of 0.04 per 1,000 bed days in 2007.[1]


The Catholic ethos of the Medical Missionaries of Mary has been blamed for some controversial practices in relation to abortion and contraception. In 1983, after Sheila Hodgers died of cancer days after giving birth, an article in The Irish Times alleged that anti-cancer medication and painkillers were withheld to protect her foetus.[8] The hospital was the last in Ireland which performed symphysiotomy (widening of the pelvis during childbirth).[9]

Obstetrician Michael Neary was found to have performed an excessive number of hysterectomies during caesarian sections.[10]