Home > DOVE Service, Rotunda Hospital annual report, 2021.

Millar, Sean ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4453-8446 (2023) DOVE Service, Rotunda Hospital annual report, 2021. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 85, Spring 2023, pp. 39-40.

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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 substance use. Figures from the service for
2021 were published in the hospital’s annual report in 2022.1

Clinical activity
Figure 1 shows the number of women who booked into the DOVE Service for antenatal care each year during the period 2011–2021. It also shows the diagnosis of viral disease for these women. During 2021, some 166 women booked into the DOVE Service for antenatal care. Of these:

  • 19 (18%) women were positive for HIV infection.
  • 35 (33%) women were positive for hepatitis B (HBV) surface antigen.
  • 33 (30%) women were positive for hepatitis C (HCV) antibody.
  • 16 (15%) women had positive treponemal serology (syphilis).

Source: The Rotunda Hospital, 2022

Figure 1: DOVE Service bookings by year, 2011–2021 

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, 2021

* One set of twins.

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

DLM: drug liaison midwife.

Source: The Rotunda Hospital, 2021

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 2021. Table 1 summarises the outcome of patients who actually delivered during 2021. Of these patients, 15 were HIV-positive, 40 were HBV-positive, 35 were HCV-positive, and 14 had syphilis. During 2021, some 103 women were referred to the drug liaison midwife (DLM) service, including 39 women who had a history of opioid addiction and were engaged in a methadone maintenance programme. There was a total of 60 deliveries to mothers under the DLM service in 2021, of which 35 were on prescribed methadone programmes.

1    The Rotunda Hospital (2022) The Rotunda Hospital Dublin annual report 2021. Dublin: The Rotunda Hospital. Available from: https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/37340/

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