Home > DOVE Service, Rotunda Hospital annual report, 2020.

Millar, Sean (2022) DOVE Service, Rotunda Hospital annual report, 2020. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 82, Summer 2022, pp. 30-31.

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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 2020 were published in the hospital’s annual report in 2021.1

Clinical activity

Figure 1 shows the number of women who booked into the DOVE Service for antenatal care each year during the period 2010–2020. It also shows the diagnosis of viral disease for these women. During 2020, some 157 women booked into the DOVE Service for antenatal care.
Of these:

  • 15 (13%) women were positive for HIV infection.
  • 47 (43%) women were positive for hepatitis B (HBV) surface antigen.
  • 33 (30%) women were positive for hepatitis C (HCV) antibody.
  • 16 (14%) 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 (HPV), herpes simplex virus, chlamydia, and gonorrhoea.

It should be noted that these numbers refer to patients who booked for care during 2020. Table 1 summarises the outcome of patients who actually delivered during 2020. Of these patients, 12 were HIV-positive, 37 were HBV-positive, 23 were HCV-positive, and 18 had syphilis. During 2020, some 98 women were referred to the drug liaison midwife (DLM) service, including 37 women who had a history of opioid addiction and were engaged in a methadone maintenance programme. There was a total of 56 deliveries to mothers under the DLM service in 2020, of which 30 were on prescribed methadone programmes.

Source: The Rotunda Hospital (2021)

Figure 1: DOVE Service bookings by year, 2010–2020

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, 2020

Source: The Rotunda Hospital (2021)

* One set of twins.

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

*** The difference in the numbers in the table is because one section is “bookings” and one is “births” (the bookings will deliver in 2020 and 2021) and the births will have booked in 2019 and 2020.

DLM: drug liaison midwife.

1    The Rotunda Hospital (2021) The Rotunda Hospital Dublin annual report 2020. Dublin: The Rotunda Hospital. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/35998/

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