‘ICU 4 U Charity Cycle’ targets €100,000

National Covid-19 research and scientific meeting on Saturday follows fundraising cycle

Dr Patrick Seigne

Doctors, nurses, and intensive care staff aim to raise €100,000 for four charities affected by the Covid-19 crisis on the ‘ICU 4 U Charity Cycle’ launched this morning by TV presenter, comedian and vigneron, Graham Norton.

The two-day cycle takes account of any restrictions in place in any county due to Covid-19. The event started today, September 3, from five locations on the island of Ireland: Belfast, Galway, Limerick, Cork, and Waterford.

The fundraising cycle is to end tomorrow, September 4, in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, where the teams of 15 cyclists are to meet and cycle together towards Áras an Uachtaráin.

A smaller group is to cycle on through central Dublin to the College of Anaesthesiology of Ireland in Merrion Square, the home of both the Intensive Care Society of Ireland, and the Joint Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine of Ireland.

Another small group is to cycle on to the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, where the most severely ill ICU patients are sometimes sent for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment.

The team has already raised more than half of the €100,000 target following support from corporate sponsors, including lead sponsor AerCap, gold sponsors Eli Lily and BNP Paribas, silver sponsors Pfizer and Gilead, and other supporters. See www.icu4u.ie.

Chief organiser Dr Patrick Seigne, Consultant Intensivist in the ICU at Cork University Hospital said: “Many ICU staff are uncomfortable with being put up on a pedestal during the crisis, as we are just doing our jobs albeit in challenging times.

“We are extremely grateful for the gifts we received from the public, but we need to put the focus back where it is most needed, with the patients and charities.

“The impact of Covid-19 reaches far beyond the ICU, and we are only beginning to see the secondary challenges, in particular with the elderly, those in nursing homes, those experiencing anxiety and mental illness, Covid-19 ICU survivors, and cancer patients who are particularly vulnerable to the virus, have had their diagnosis delayed, and urgently need new treatments.”

The fundraising campaign has been organised in aid of Alone (older people), Breakthrough Cancer Research (new cancer treatments), Aware (mental health) and ICUsteps (ICU patient aftercare support).

On Saturday, September 5, a virtual National Covid-19 Research and Scientific meeting follows the fundraising event. Its focus is the management of critically ill patients with Covid-19.

Hosted by the Intensive Care Society of Ireland, the Joint Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine of Ireland and the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland, the meeting is to focus on the experience and learning of Irish Intensivists , ICU doctors and anaesthesiologists during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Two online scientific sessions are being held for the medical community to attend followed by a third session at 12.15pm, which will be open to the public via Zoom.

The online event is free to attend. However, organisers said it is essential to pre-register on http://bit.ly/nationalcovidconf, as there will be a maximum capacity of 500 participants. Alternatively, further information from: Rebeca Williams at rwilliams@coa.ie.


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