POWER CUT NEARLY KILLED OP WOMAN.
A POWER cut almost killed a woman after her appendix operation had to be abandoned just minutes into the procedure.
It emerged yesterday that back-up generators in two hospitals in Co Clare failed to do their jobs after a power cut on Friday.
A spokesman said: "We are lucky the failure of the generator at Ennis General didn't result in a death."
Hospital chiefs in Ennis General Hospital confirmed that surgeons had already begun the operation when an emergency generator shut down after only 45 minutes of use.
The patient was taken back to her ward to recover and the operation was then completed on Saturday morning.
And 220 geriatric patients in nearby St Joseph's Hospital were in darkness for one-and-a-half hours.
Nursing staff attended to them until the power was restored.
The generator in St Joseph's didn't kick in at all. A health service spokesman said: "All our emergency generators are inspected regularly but in light of what happened we are conducting a full technical examination of what went wrong."
But a spokesman for a local hospital action group said: "The failure of generators at both hospitals is symptomatic of a greater malaise in the health service.
"It is absurd that there should be a systems failure of this nature."