Thursday, June 10, 2010

Faulty equipment in an Irish maternity hospital led to woman being told her baby was dead

A Dublin woman was told following a scan in Drogheda's Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital that her baby was dead and medical staff there arranged for her to take abortive drugs and have an operation to remove the baby according to a report in the Irish Independent.

Due to the fact that the woman Melissa Redmond, from Donabate, north Dublin was not convinced by this diagnosis she sought a second opinion the day before procedure was planned and in so doing saved her baby’s life.

Mother-of-three Melissa, who has suffered miscarriages before, went to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital for a scan while eight weeks into her pregnancy on July 22 last year, but following a quick scan, she was told the pregnancy would not progress and was administered with the abortive drug Cytotec to take on the morning of the D&C operation to remove the foetus, scheduled for two days later.

"I was heartbroken," she said. But after getting morning sickness again at her friend's home the next day, Melissa decided to get a second opinion from a local GP. Despite thinking she was just giving herself "false hope", she insisted she felt the same as she did when pregnant with her other two children, Cian and Tara.

The second scan showed almost immediately there was a heartbeat and when the sound was switched on the heartbeat "filled the room", said Melissa. When they went back to the hospital, another scan, on a different machine to the initial botched examination, confirmed that her unborn baby was alive and Melissa gave birth to her new baby boy, also called Michael, on March 6 this year.

The report has led to a flood of calls to the hospital – and forced the Health Service Executive (HSE) to open a helpline for worried mothers. There were also calls for an independent inquiry to be set up into the incident.

The HSE say they have taken a number of measures at to ensure there is no repeat of the "near miss incident"