Home > DOVE Service, Rotunda Maternity Hospital annual report, 2018.

Millar, Sean (2020) DOVE Service, Rotunda Maternity Hospital annual report, 2018. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 74, Summer 2020, pp. 26-27.

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The Danger of Viral Exposure (DOVE) Service in the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin was established to meet the specific needs of pregnant women who have, or are at risk of, blood-borne or sexually transmitted bacterial or viral infections in pregnancy. Exposure may also occur through illicit drug use. Figures from the service for 2018 were published in the hospital’s annual report in 2019.1 

Figure 1 shows the number of women who booked into the DOVE Service for antenatal care each year during the period 2008–2018. It also shows the diagnosis for these women. 

During 2018, some 128 women booked into the DOVE Service for antenatal care. Of these:

  • 31 (24%) women were positive for HIV infection.
  • 41 (32%) women were positive for hepatitis B (HBV) surface antigen.
  • 41 (32%) women were positive for hepatitis C (HCV) antibody.
  • 20 (16%) women had positive treponemal serology (syphilis). 

In addition to the figures presented above, a number of women attended the service for diagnosis and treatment of human papillomavirus, herpes simplex virus, chlamydia, and gonorrhoea. 

It should be noted that these numbers refer to patients who booked for care during 2018. Table 1 summarises the outcome of patients who actually delivered during 2018. Of these patients, 30 were HIV-positive, 48 were HBV-positive, and 42 were HCV-positive. During 2018, some 106 women were referred to the Drug Liaison Midwife (DLM) service, including 39 women who had a history of opiate addiction and were engaged in a Methadone Maintenance Programme. There was a total of 61 deliveries to mothers under the DLM service in 2018.  

Figure 1: DOVE Service bookings by year, 2008–2018 

Table 1: Deliveries to mothers attending the DOVE Service who were positive for HIV, HBV, HCV or syphilis, or who were attending the drug liaison midwife, 2018

Source: The Rotunda Hospital (2019)

* One set of twins.

** Final serology test not yet available for all infants.

*** Two sets of twins.

DLM = drug liaison midwife. 


1              The Rotunda Hospital (2019) The Rotunda Hospital Dublin annual report 2018. Dublin: The Rotunda Hospital. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/32499/

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
Issue Title
Issue 74, Summer 2020
August 2020
Page Range
pp. 26-27
Health Research Board
Issue 74, Summer 2020

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