Make an Appointment
Dr. Bryan Whelan
(071) 93 18787
Dr. Miriam OʼSullivan
(071) 93 18787
COVID 19 PRACTICE RESTRICTIONS
Due to our redeployment to help with the surge in patients presenting to the acute hospital system, the time we can currently devote to this practice is significantly restricted. While we will make every effort to reply to those with worsening severe symptoms we cannot unfortuantely give any guarantees as to how quickly we can reply.
We apologise for any inconvenience this will cause for you and hope that you will understand given the strain the health system is under at the present time.
COVID 19 Advice
We understand that rheumatology patients on immunosuppressives (biologics, steroids, drugs such as methotrexate) are feeling particularly vulnerable and anxious due to the novel Coronavirus disease Covid-19.
What we know so far is:
1. The most effective thing that you can do now to protect yourself is to prevent the spread of infection for yourself and others by following the advice on www.hse.ie
Wash your hands very regularly for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. Dry hands thoroughly afterwards.
Avoid touching your face, especially eyes and mouth
Cough or sneeze only into an elbow or tissue paper and tissue paper should be discarded safely.
Wear a mask only when you are ill; if you have no symptoms it is not necessary to wear a mask.
Practice sensible social distancing of 1-2m especially from people who appear to be ill, e.g. coughing or sneezing.
Don’t shake hands, and avoid hugs.
Avoid busy public transport and large groups of people.
If you taking immunosuppressive medications you are in a high risk group you should be socially isolating (cocooning) as much as is possible
2. Most patients will have a mild illness and recover but if we all take the actions listed above we will protect those who will develop severe illness if infected.
3. The mortality is 1-2% and high risk groups for severe disease have been identified as age over 70, chronic heart and lung disease, diabetes, active cancer and those on immunosuppressive therapies.
4. The data from studies of the outbreak that identified these risk factors did not identify immunosuppressive treatments prescribed in rheumatology patients as a high risk factor for mortality. However patients on immunosuppressives have a reasonable cause for concern as this is an infectious disease and we are monitoring data and international guidelines on the disease in order to best advise our patients.
5. Our advice is to not stop steroids suddenly or you may become very unwell.
6. At present there is no known benefit to stopping your immunosuppressive rheumatology medication but if you have stable disease you should discuss with your rheumatologist whether the dose of the immunosuppressive medication can be safely reduced during this pandemic.
7. The Covid-19 pandemic may last several months so if you reduce or stop your medicine you will be more likely to have a flare during this period and need to restart your treatment or have to take more intensive treatment with steroids.
8. If you are on immunosuppressives and have other high risk factors for COVID-19 or have had a history of recurrent or opportunistic infections while on immunosuppressive therapy you are high risk and should socially isolate (cocoon) to protect yourself.
9. If you have symptoms of a viral infection – cough. shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, fever (high temperature) – continue steroids but hold your other immunosuppressives and seek advice with your GP or consult the HSE website – do not stop steroids suddenly without medical advice
For further information visit https://www.arthritisireland.ie/covid-19
March 30th 2020
WHAT IS RHEUMATOLOGY ?
Rheumatology is the medical speciality devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases. Arthritis, of which there are more than 100 types, is one of the most common rheumatic diseases. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout are probably the most well-known. Arthritis is a condition that affects almost one million people in Ireland and is the single biggest cause of disability in this country. It can result in damaged joints, pain, stiffness, immobility and deformity.
In addition to arthritis, rheumatologists also treat and diagnose disorders of joints, bone, muscles and ligaments, such as osteoporosis, hypermobility, tendonitis and chronic widespread pain. Some rheumatic disorders, such as vasculitis, lupus and other connective tissue diseases, are due to complex autoimmune processes and can affect the organs of the body as well as the joints, such as the skin, internal organs, blood vessels and nervous system.
At Sligo Rheumatology, we have over 25 years’ experience in diagnosing and treating patients with a wide range of musculoskeletal and systemic rheumatic diseases.
We aim to provide a holistic approach to patient care, from diagnosis to treatment plans that alleviate pain, maintain or improve joint mobility and function, help prevent disease progression and damage. An essential role of the rheumatologist is to determine what type of arthritis may be affecting an individual so that the appropriate therapeutic options can be initiated.
We also provide joint aspiration to aid diagnosis, in addition to joint and soft tissue injections for symptomatic relief.
Dr. Miriam O’Sullivan
Dr. Miriam O’Sullivan MB, BCh, MMedSci (Sports and Exercise Medicine), MRCPI, PhD is a consultant rheumatologist in Sligo. She graduated from University College Cork in 2002 and completed her postgraduate rheumatology training in Ireland. Following this, she completed her PhD on heart disease in rheumatoid arthritis in UCC in 2014. In 2016, she was awarded a scholarship to complete a fellowship in University of Manchester on SLE. She is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at NUIG and is involved in education of medical students at the Sligo Medical Academy. She is the chairperson of the Sligo Research Ethics Committee (2017- present). She currently collaborates on medical research at NUIG and University of Manchester. She is the Irish lead for ATACC-RA, an international consortium of researchers investigating heart disease in rheumatic conditions. Her areas of special interest in clinical medicine are SLE, inﬂammatory arthritis and sports injury.
Dr. Bryan Whelan
Dr Bryan Whelan is a Consultant Rheumatologist in Our Lady’s Hospital in Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim and an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Medicine in NUIG. He qualiﬁed from UCD in 2000 and completed SpR training in Rheumatology in Cork University Hospital, the Mater Hospital Dublin and was awarded a Dr Richard Steevens Scholarship to complete a clinical research fellowship in University College London. He has a Doctorate in medicine and Masters Sports and Exercise Medicine from UCC and an MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is currently a board member of Arthritis Ireland, Irish Society for Rheumatology, SUH Research and Education Foundation and the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine(FSEM) and is also a member of the Academic Committee of the FSEM and the Advisory Committee for Human Medicines Clinical Trials Subcommittee of the HPRA. His clinical rheumatology practice includes all aspects inﬂammatory and non inﬂammatory rheumatic disease and his research interests include inﬂammatory muscle disease, SLE, osteoarthritis and health outcomes research.
Offices currently closed due to COVID 19
(general enquiries only)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How can I make an appointment?
We require GP referrals for patients. Your GP can fax, post or refer via the secure email addresses on this site. Once the referral is made you will be contacted directly with a date and time for your first appointment.
What should I bring with me to my appointment?
You should bring copies of medical information that you may have in your possession. This may include x-ray or MRI reports and relevant blood results. Please also bring a list of current medication and your medical insurance details.
What can I expect on the day of my appointment?
All consultations involve examination, review of reports, diagnosis and treatment plan. Where appropriate, an intervention may be performed on the day or at a later, more suitable date.
Where do I park?
There are a number of car parks close by including Stephen Street car park, the Glasshouse Hotel and Holborn Street.
Consultation fee will be confirmed to you in advance of your appointment.
It is not possible to collect payment directly from your Health Insurer for any consultation fees. Depending on your cover you may be entitled to claim a portion of the consultation fee afterwards from your insurer however this is a matter entirely between each patient and their health insurer.
If you have health insurance then we can submit a claim to your Health Insurer to cover this cost. If you do not have health insurance there is a charge involved for the drugs/procedure on the day.