Meath and Adelaide Hospitals, Dublin
The Adelaide Hospital is named after Queen Adelaide, the English queen at the time of its foundation in 1839. It moved to moved to Peter Street in 1858 and, after its incorporation with the other two hospitals, to the Tallaght site on 21 June 1998. It has provided a focus for Protestant participation in the Irish health services since its foundation. This is reflected in the board of the new hospital where the Adelaide Hospital Society carries on the participation of the Adelaide Hospital with 6 out of 23 members.
As well as national and regional specialties such as orthopaedics and neurology, the hospital provided a range of specialties including general medicine and surgery, anaesthetics, cardiology, dermatology, gastro-enterology, endocrinology, diabetology, age-related health care, psychiatry, ENT, gynaecology, respiratory medicine, rheumatology, radiotherapy, vascular surgery and intensive care medicine.
A wide range of rehabilitation disciplines had also been developed, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, speech and language therapy and clinical nutrition. The Adelaide Hospital Society carries on the participation of the Adelaide Hospital into the new hospital.
The Meath Hospital was the oldest voluntary hospital in continuous existence in Ireland, the oldest university teaching hospital and the most significant institution in Ireland in terms of medical history. Founded in 1753 to care for the sick and poor of the Liberties, the hospital took on the mantle of the County Dublin Infirmary in 1774. The hospital moved to Heytesbury St in 1822 and stayed there until the move to Tallaght in 1998.
The hospital formed the focus of the Dublin School of Medicine in the early 19th century when two of its physicians, Robert Graves (physician from 1821-1843) and William Stokes (physician from 1826-1875), introduced bedside teaching to the English-speaking world. Students attended from many countries and the teachings of the two physicians were very influential in medical education in North America.
Graves described many diseases for the first time, including Graves' disease of the thyroid.
Stokes is regarded as one of the founders of modern cardiology, and two conditions are named after him, Stokes-Adams attacks and Cheyne-Stokes breathing. The latter was in conjunction with John Cheyne, physician to the Meath hospital 1811-1817.
The first hypodermic injection was administered by a surgeon in the hospital, Francis Rynd, in 1844. Richard Lane Joynt was one of the first radiologists in Ireland, and was appointed in 1900, the year in which Queen Victoria visited the Meath Hospital. This tradition of medical innovation has continued into this century with the establishment of the National Urological Department in 1952. Modern nursing practices started in 1884 with the appointment of Miss Ellinor Lyons, who founded the Meath Hospital Nursing School.
The Meath Hospital had many literary associations. The site of the hospital (the Dean's Vineyard) was where Jonathan Swift kept a garden and a paddock for his horse - the wall of the hospital along Long Lane incorporates parts of the wall built by Dean Swift. James Clarence Mangan and Brendan Behan were patients and spent their last days in the Meath Hospital. The poet and novelist Oliver St John Gogarty (and also Buck Mulligan in James Joyce's Ulysses!) was on the staff of the hospital from 1911 to 1939, and the hospital features in the poetry of Paul Durcan.
As well as national and regional specialties such as urology and nephrology, the hospital provided a range of specialties including Accident and Emergency Services, general medicine and surgery, anaesthetics, cardiology, dermatology, gastro-enterology, endocrinology, ENT, diabetology, age-related health care, psychiatry, gynaecology, occupational medicine, orthopaedics, respiratory medicine, psychiatry, radiology, radiotherapy, vascular surgery and intensive care medicine.
A wide range of rehabilitation disciplines had also been developed, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, speech and language therapy and clinical nutrition: the first formal Dysphagia Service was started in 1990.
The Meath Foundation carries on the participation of the Meath Hospital into the new hospital with 6 out of 23 members.
Coakley D. The Irish School of Medicine. Dublin, Townhouse, 1988.
Gatenby P. A History of the Meath Hospital. Dublin, Townhouse, 1996.
Mitchell D. A Peculiar Place: a history of the Adelaide Hospital. Dublin, Blackwater Press, 1989.
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ARHC, Adelaide and Meath Hospital Dublin
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