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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to clinical malpractice in hospital, you could be entitled to compensation. A compensation claim for clinical malpractice in hospital has to show that you sustained an avoidable injury which “at the time and in the circumstances” was attributable to the poor professional performance of a medical practitioner who owed you a duty of care. However, unlike most other types of personal injury claim, a compensation claim for clinical malpractice cannot be processed by the Injuries Board Ireland and you will need the services of an experienced hospital negligence solicitor to negotiate for a settlement of hospital clinical malpractice compensation with the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or to represent you in court when necessary.

Compensation Bill for Cervical Cancer Screening could top €500m

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has confirmed that the women affected by the CervicalCheck controversy will be compensated through a redress scheme. It is estimated that the cost of doing this could be in excess of €500m.

This announcement comes as new reports indicate that the original estimate that the number of misdiagnosis cases is actually as high as 3,000 and not the 1,500 it was originally believed to be. Should this be the case then it is extremely likely that the number of people given the incorrect results may be much higher that the 208, of whom 17 are now dead, first reported when the scandal became public.

Speaking during Leader’s Questions in the Dáil this week Mr Varadkar said: “We will need a scheme of redress for women whose cancer was missed and should have been detected beyond normal error and for women where there was a breach of duty to inform them of the audit results”.

He added: “Once again, I want to say how deeply concerned and upset I and the whole Government are at the situation with which we are now grappling.”

The Taoiseach also revealed that women who wants a repeat smear or review of their test, the State will meet that cost, as well as the GP appointment fee.

The smear controversy arose following the by the case taken by Vicky Phelan, a terminally ill mother. Mrs Phelan was advised, following a smear test in 2011 that she showed no signs of cervical cancer. However, an audit carried out in 2014 showed that the original results of the smear test were actually incorrect. Despite this she was not advised that she had cervical cancer until 2017 and in January 2018 she was told that her illness was now terminal – she has 6-12 months to live.

Ms Phelan, a 43-year-old mother of two from Co Limerick, was awarded €2.5m in the High Court. She now plans to travel to the US in the hope of being accepted onto a new trial treatment for cervical cancer.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to clinical malpractice in hospital, you could be entitled to compensation. A compensation claim for clinical malpractice in hospital has to show that you sustained an avoidable injury which “at the time and in the circumstances” was attributable to the poor professional performance of a medical practitioner who owed you a duty of care. However, unlike most other types of personal injury claim, a compensation claim for clinical malpractice cannot be processed by the Injuries Board Ireland and you will need the services of an experienced hospital negligence solicitor to negotiate for a settlement of hospital clinical malpractice compensation with the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or to represent you in court when necessary.

Vicky Phelan Awarded €2.5m in Delayed Diagnosis Compensation Due to Incorrect Smear Test Results

An delayed diagnosis compensation settlement of €2.5m against a US laboratory has been made to Mrs Vicky Phelan, a terminally-ill mother of two from Annacotty, Co Limerick, who was wrongly advised that she did not have cancer in 2011.

In January 2017 Mrs Phelan was told that she has less than one year to live. This was after she had been advised, in 2011, that there were no abnormalities present in the smear sample tested at to Clinical Pathology Laboratories Inc. in Austin, Texas. Sadly,  in her next smear test completed in 2014 cervical cancer was now detected. Clinical Patholhy Laboratories found, during a review in 2014, that the 2011 smear test results had been incorrect. Despite this, Mrs Phelan was only made aware of this error in 2017.

Mrs Phelan’s legal team pointed out. in her High Court action which started last week, that if the cervical cancer had been detected in 2011 she (Mrs Phelan) would have had a regular procedure that would have given her a 90% chance of survival.

The legal action against the Health Service Executive was struck out and as the  misdiagnosis compensation settlement was made in relation to the testing company Clinical Pathology Laboratories Inc, Austin, Texas only, with no admission of liability.

In the aftermath of award being announced Mrs Phelan stated that a thorough inquiry into the CervicalCheck screening programme should be initiated.

She said: “To know for almost three years a mistake had been made and I was misdiagnosed was bad enough but to keep that from me until I became terminally ill and to drag me through the courts to fight for my right to the truth is an appalling breach of trust and I truly hope some good will come of this case and there will be an investigation in the CervicalCheck programme as a result of this.”

Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he was satisfied  with that approval and he praised the legal teams for completing the compensation action, was only begun in February 2017, to court as swiftly as they had. He also said that Vicky Phelan is one of the most impressive witnesses that has come before him in court.

Mrs Phelan has recently started treatment with a new drug and hopes to be accepted on to a US programme providing innovative treatment, So far she has raised €200,000 via a Go Fund Me page. Justice Cross said he believed that if anyone could beat this it is Mrs Phelan.

 

 

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to clinical malpractice in hospital, you could be entitled to compensation. A compensation claim for clinical malpractice in hospital has to show that you sustained an avoidable injury which “at the time and in the circumstances” was attributable to the poor professional performance of a medical practitioner who owed you a duty of care. However, unlike most other types of personal injury claim, a compensation claim for clinical malpractice cannot be processed by the Injuries Board Ireland and you will need the services of an experienced hospital negligence solicitor to negotiate for a settlement of hospital clinical malpractice compensation with the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or to represent you in court when necessary.

€40,000 Hospital Negligence Award Following Death of Girl Due to a Hole in her Heart

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has issued an apology unreservedly to the family of a little girl who died due to a hole in her heart being not being diagnosed. The HSE will also be required to pay over €40,000 hospital misdiagnosis compensation to her parents.

Aimee Keogh was two-years-old when she died in an ambulance as she was due to be transferred from Limerick Hospital to Our Lady’s Hospital for Children, Crumlin for a cardiac procedure on July 10, 2014.

Aimee had first been taken to hospital in March 2014 for febrile convulsions caused by tonsillitis. Consultant radiologist Padraig O’Brien said that after reviewing her X-ray, he was suspicious of a septal defect – a hole between the chambers of the heart.

Despite this, Aimee was not taken to a paediatric cardiologist and further negligence was experienced when a paediatric neurologist and a treating paediatrician did not review or recognise irregularities in the X-ray, the Keogh family alleged.

Four months later, Aimee’s major congenital heart defect went undiagnosed until her condition worsened in the days leading up to her death.

Aimee had experienced 17 seizures before being taken to hospital on July 9 and was being made ready for transfer to Dublin for a paediatric cardio echo procedure that can be carried out only by a paediatric cardio consultant based at Crumlin Hospital in Dublin.

An inquest into the little girl’s passing was told her case was never examined by a paediatric cardiologist, but paediatric consultant Anne Marie Murphy, who was responsible for Aimee’s case, said she discovered the X-ray to be normal and a multi-disciplinary team who looked over the same X-ray over three weeks later also found it to be regular.

When this happened there were no paediatric cardiologists located outside Crumlin and children could have to wait up to two years for an appointment.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly directed the Health Service Executive to pay misdiagnosis compensation of €40,000 to the Keogh family.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to clinical malpractice in hospital, you could be entitled to compensation. A compensation claim for clinical malpractice in hospital has to show that you sustained an avoidable injury which “at the time and in the circumstances” was attributable to the poor professional performance of a medical practitioner who owed you a duty of care. However, unlike most other types of personal injury claim, a compensation claim for clinical malpractice cannot be processed by the Injuries Board Ireland and you will need the services of an experienced hospital negligence solicitor to negotiate for a settlement of hospital clinical malpractice compensation with the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or to represent you in court when necessary.

Medical Negligence Compensation Settlement Agreed in Relation to Ectopic Pregnancy Death

Alan Thawley, whose wife Malak passed away during surgery for an ectopic pregnancy at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) in 2016 has settled his High Court action for medical negligence compensation.

Mrs Thawley, aged 34 at the time of her death was expecting her first when she died at the Holles Street hospital on May 8, 2016.

In the initial hearing legal representatives for Mr Thawley advised the court last week that his wife’s death was a result of a “cascade of negligence”. Liam Reidy SC, representing Mr Thawley argued that the doctor who carried out the surgery on Malak, a teacher and a US citizen, was an inexperienced junior surgeon and was not adequately supervised.

He added that the ineptitude of the physicians could be highlighted particularly when a decision was taken to cool Mrs Thawley’s brain with ice. Upon discovery that there was no ice in the hospital two doctors were sent across the road to a pub to get ice as there was none in the hospital.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr was told, when the case came back before the court on Tuesday, that it was settled for compensatory damages only and aggravated or exemplary damages were not involved. No other specific details of the medical negligence settlement were provided to the court.

Commenting outside the court Alan Thawley said that he was happy to have come to a settlement after a long and harrowing process. He said: “There is no compensation that could replace the profound loss of my wife’s untimely and needless death”.

Mr Thawley went on to say: “The proceedings were brought forth to expose the cascade of negligence demonstrated by the hospital”.

He also committed to working with the Department of Health’s Ministerial Inquiry in a bid to prevent other people suffering, as he has, in the future.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to clinical malpractice in hospital, you could be entitled to compensation. A compensation claim for clinical malpractice in hospital has to show that you sustained an avoidable injury which “at the time and in the circumstances” was attributable to the poor professional performance of a medical practitioner who owed you a duty of care. However, unlike most other types of personal injury claim, a compensation claim for clinical malpractice cannot be processed by the Injuries Board Ireland and you will need the services of an experienced hospital negligence solicitor to negotiate for a settlement of hospital clinical malpractice compensation with the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or to represent you in court when necessary.

1,000 Irish Deaths Due to Medical Negligence Every Year

Roger Murray, Head of the Medical Negligence Department at a leading law firm, told a recent Pathways to Progress conference on medical negligence that around 1,000 unnecessary deaths are happening annually in Ireland due to medical mistakes.

Mr Murray, joint Managing partner at Callan Tansey solicitors, went on to say that up to 160,000 people attending hospital for treatments suffer injuries due to human error. Mr Tansey, speaking during September at the gathering of solicitors, medical professionals and patients, insisted that there is “no compo culture” present when it comes to medical negligence compensation action in Ireland. He saidthat what we are currently seeing in the legal system in Ireland is just “the top of a very murky iceberg”.

Mr Tansey who has represented clients in a number of high-profile medical negligence compensation legal actions said that he feels that not all people injured in medical incidents make it known it while the HSE is alerted of 34,170 “clinical incidents” every year. Just 575 of these incidents lead to compensation claims against the HSE, a rate of less than 1.7 per cent.

The most commonly experienced cases, according to Mr Murray, relate to surgery (36 per cent) medicine (24 per cent), maternity (23 per cent) and gynaecology (7.5 per cent).

He emphasised that while injured patients and families do have pity for medical professionals after they make mistakes what “they cannot abide is systemic and repeated errors”.

He called for inn depth reviews to be completed when mistakes do occur. Mr Murray said he had seen many inquests where families learned that reviews had been completed following a death and, despite this, and the results were not disseminated to appropriate staff who could have learned from them.

 

 

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to clinical malpractice in hospital, you could be entitled to compensation. A compensation claim for clinical malpractice in hospital has to show that you sustained an avoidable injury which “at the time and in the circumstances” was attributable to the poor professional performance of a medical practitioner who owed you a duty of care. However, unlike most other types of personal injury claim, a compensation claim for clinical malpractice cannot be processed by the Injuries Board Ireland and you will need the services of an experienced hospital negligence solicitor to negotiate for a settlement of hospital clinical malpractice compensation with the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or to represent you in court when necessary.

Interim Settlement of Compensation Claim against the Portiuncula Hospital Approved

The interim settlement of a child´s compensation claim against the Portiuncula Hospital and HSE has been approved by Mr Justice Cross at the High Court.

On 3rd August 2012, eleven-month old Eoghan Dunne from Tullamore in County Offaly was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe suffering from a high heart rate and severe respiratory distress. Due to the severity of his condition, Eoghan was transferred twelve hours later to the Temple Street Children´s Hospital in Dublin.

At the Temple Street Hospital, Eoghan suffered a cardiac arrest due to septic shock. He suffered brain damage due to a lack of oxygen, and now suffers from epilepsy, is visually impaired and cannot walk or talk. Eoghan spent six months in hospital being treated for his condition, but will need twenty-four hour care for the rest of his life.

A review of the treatment Eoghan received at the Portiuncula Hospital revealed a catalogue of inadequacies. Allegedly the hospital was ill-prepared for Eoghan´s admission, had failed to administer antibiotics in breach of the HSE´s guidelines for the treatment of sepsis, and had taken too long to arrange the transfer to Temple Street Hospital due to a lack of “competent staff”.

Eoghan´s parents – Ronan and Teresa – sought legal advice and made a compensation claim against the Portiuncula Hospital and HSE, alleging that their son would not have suffered such devastating injuries had it not been for a failure in the hospitals´ duty of care. The HSE denied liability for Eoghan´s injuries, and a court hearing was scheduled for earlier this week.

However, with a few days to go until the hearing was due to start, the HSE accepted that mistakes had been made in Eoghan´s care and an interim settlement of the compensation claim against the Portiuncula Hospital was agreed. As the claim had been made on behalf of a child, the proposed settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Eoghan´s best interests.

At the approval hearing, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the circumstances of Eoghan´s admission into the Portiuncula Hospital and the subsequent events that had occurred. The judge commented that, if liability had been admitted at an earlier stage, Eoghan could have received therapy and treatment for his injuries at “a vital developmental stage” rather than much later.

The judge approved the interim €2.4 million settlement of the compensation claim against the Portiuncula Hospital, and adjourned the case for four years – by which time a review of Eoghan´s future needs will have been conducted. In 2020, the family will have the option of taking a lump sum compensation payment if a system of periodic payments has not been introduced.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to clinical malpractice in hospital, you could be entitled to compensation. A compensation claim for clinical malpractice in hospital has to show that you sustained an avoidable injury which “at the time and in the circumstances” was attributable to the poor professional performance of a medical practitioner who owed you a duty of care. However, unlike most other types of personal injury claim, a compensation claim for clinical malpractice cannot be processed by the Injuries Board Ireland and you will need the services of an experienced hospital negligence solicitor to negotiate for a settlement of hospital clinical malpractice compensation with the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or to represent you in court when necessary.

Couple Awarded Medical Negligence Compensation for the Death of a Baby

A couple have been awarded €70,000 medical negligence compensation for the death of a baby son after an approval hearing at the High Court.

Fiona Watters was admitted into the Cavan General Hospital on 20th November 2012 in the later stages of her first pregnancy. Fiona´s waters broke at 10:30am on the morning of 22nd November and she was administered Prostiglandin to accelerate her labour.

During the day the levels of Prostiglandin were increased. At 9:30pm that evening a natural birth was attempted but, after an hour of pushing, the midwife rang consultant obstetrician Dr Salah Aziz to inform him that the baby´s head was not visible and the indications were that the baby was suffering foetal distress.

Dr Aziz arrived at the Labour Ward to discover that another Caesarean Section operation was taking place in the only out-of-hours theatre. He attempted both a forceps delivery and a vacuum delivery – both of which failed. When the theatre became available, Fiona underwent an emergency Caesarean Section operation, but her son – Jamie – was delivered in a very poor condition.

Jamie was transferred to the special care baby unit at the Rotunda Hospital, where he tragically died two days later in his mother´s arms. An initial investigation into the cause of Jamie´s death was quashed by the High Court in August 2013 after Dr Aziz successfully argued that HSE investigators had not followed the correct procedures.

However Fiona and her partner – Francis Flynn – had already received an advanced copy of the report and, after seeking legal advice, they claimed medical negligence compensation for the death of a baby against Cavan General Hospital and the HSE.

The HSE failed to acknowledge liability for Jamie´s death until almost a year later and only then commissioned a second investigation into the events leading up to Jamie´s delivery. However, this time the investigation was to be carried out by an independent review team following the subsequent deaths of two more children at the Cavan General Hospital.

In December 2014, an inquest into Jamie´s death attributed it to medical misadventure. The coroner said that the increased administration of Prostiglandin, Dr Aziz´s failure to inform the registrar that the Jamie´s delivery was expected that evening and the lack of a second out-of-hours theatre at the hospital were all causative events for Jamie´s death.

Following the coroner´s verdict, negotiations started with the State Claims Agency to settle the claim for medical negligence compensation for the death of a baby. Due to the traumatic circumstances leading up to Jamie´s birth and the protracted investigations into Jamie´s death, a settlement of €70,000 was agreed.

Earlier this week a hearing at the High Court took place to approve the settlement. Mr Justice Richard Humphreys heard that the size of the settlement reflected the long-lasting grief and distress that had been suffered by Jamie´s parents. Judge Humphreys approved the settlement, stipulating that €5,000 of the settlement should be paid into court funds for the benefit of Fiona and Francis´ daughter.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to clinical malpractice in hospital, you could be entitled to compensation. A compensation claim for clinical malpractice in hospital has to show that you sustained an avoidable injury which “at the time and in the circumstances” was attributable to the poor professional performance of a medical practitioner who owed you a duty of care. However, unlike most other types of personal injury claim, a compensation claim for clinical malpractice cannot be processed by the Injuries Board Ireland and you will need the services of an experienced hospital negligence solicitor to negotiate for a settlement of hospital clinical malpractice compensation with the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or to represent you in court when necessary.

Family Make Claim for Wrongful Death due to Medical Misadventure

The family of a woman who died from organ failure after undergoing a hernia operation have made a claim for wrongful death due to medical misadventure.

On 13th July 2013, Susan McGee (52) – a mother of two from Rush in County Dublin – went to the Hermitage Medical Clinic in Dublin for what was supposed to be a routine hernia operation. The operation initially appeared to be successful, and Susan was discharged from the Hermitage three days later on 16th July to be cared for by her daughter.

The following day (17th July), Susan complained of having an abdominal pain and feeling unwell. Her daughter took her back to the Hermitage, where Susan was readmitted for observation. Over the weekend of 20th and 21st July, Susan´s condition deteriorated and on 22nd July a CT scan revealed a mass in her small bowel.

Susan underwent surgery the same day to have the obstruction removed, but her health continued to deteriorate. Susan was transferred to the intensive care department of the Beaumont Hospital on 23rd July, but she died the following day from multiple organ failure caused by sepsis – the sepsis having been triggered by a C.difficle infection.

The inquest into Susan´s death was eventually held in June 2015. Dublin City Coroner´s Court heard that several errors had been made in Susan´s care, including a failure to report brown faecal fluid draining from Susan´s nasogastric tube and a failure to record Susan´s vital signs between 8:00am and 6:00pm on Sunday 21st July – three days before she died.

The inquest also heard that over the weekend of 20th and 21st July only one resident medical officer was on duty – Dr Lachman Pahwani. Dr Pahwani testified that he had tried to spend as much time with Susan as possible – aware that she was in a poorly condition – but Susan was one of 81 patients that he had responsibility for at the medical facility at the time.

Following the inquest, Susan´s family sought legal advice and made a claim for wrongful death due to medical misadventure – the verdict that the inquest had delivered. A spokesperson for the family said that a summons has now been issued and served on the Hermitage Medical Clinic.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to clinical malpractice in hospital, you could be entitled to compensation. A compensation claim for clinical malpractice in hospital has to show that you sustained an avoidable injury which “at the time and in the circumstances” was attributable to the poor professional performance of a medical practitioner who owed you a duty of care. However, unlike most other types of personal injury claim, a compensation claim for clinical malpractice cannot be processed by the Injuries Board Ireland and you will need the services of an experienced hospital negligence solicitor to negotiate for a settlement of hospital clinical malpractice compensation with the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or to represent you in court when necessary.

Organisation Calls for more Openness in Hospital Negligence Claims

The Medical Injuries Alliance has repeated its call for “Duty of Candour” legislation so that there is more openness in hospital negligence claims.

The Medical Injuries Alliance is an organisation that works with patients injured by medical mistakes to get answers about how the injuries occurred. Among the organisation´s objectives is the promotion of studies that help to understand the why medical mistakes occur, so that safety improvements in Irish hospitals can be made.

In order to meet their objectives, the Alliance has repeatedly called for politicians to introduce “Duty of Candour” legislation – legislation that would promote openness in hospital negligence claims by forcing healthcare professionals and Irish hospitals to admit when medical mistakes have been made, to explain why they happened, and to issue an apology immediately.

The Alliance has already issued a statement on its website that “the duty of candour in hospitals and doctors should be placed on a statutory footing, entitling injured patients to an accurate account of how they came to suffer medical injury in Irish hospitals”, and, to repeat its call for more openness in hospital negligence claims, the message has now been taken to the press.

Last week an article appeared in the Irish Times commenting on a cerebral palsy claim that took nine years to resolve due to a lack of openness in hospital negligence claims and alleged “stonewalling” by the Health Service Executive (HSE). The article concluded by saying that duty of candour laws were introduced in the UK last year, and that similar legislation is clearly needed in Ireland.

In response to that article, a letter from the Secretary of the Medical Injuries Alliance – Joice McCarthy – was published. In the letter, Ms McCarthy agreed with the comments within the article and made her own observations that many victims of hospital negligence are forced to take legal action to get the answers to the questions that healthcare professionals and hospitals are unwilling to give.

Ms McCarthy commented that patients who have been through the legal process describe it as a stressful and protracted experience, and she alluded to the recent “shabby episode” in which there was a disagreement between the HSE and the State Claims Agency about who was responsible for delays in settling a six-year hospital negligence claim. Ms McCarthy concluded her letter:

“Instead of blaming any particular State organisation, or indeed having different State organisations blame one another for the current difficulties, it is high time politicians simply acted to introduce a legal duty of candour in order to fix what seems to be a glaringly obvious problem”.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to clinical malpractice in hospital, you could be entitled to compensation. A compensation claim for clinical malpractice in hospital has to show that you sustained an avoidable injury which “at the time and in the circumstances” was attributable to the poor professional performance of a medical practitioner who owed you a duty of care. However, unlike most other types of personal injury claim, a compensation claim for clinical malpractice cannot be processed by the Injuries Board Ireland and you will need the services of an experienced hospital negligence solicitor to negotiate for a settlement of hospital clinical malpractice compensation with the negligent medical practitioner´s insurers or to represent you in court when necessary.

HSE Apologises for Portlaoise Hospital Childbirth Negligence

Dr Philip Crowley – the National Director of Quality & Patient Safety at the Health Service Executive – has apologised on behalf of the HSE to four families who lost a child due to hospital childbirth negligence at Portlaoise Hospital.

The apology by Dr Crowley was made shortly before an RTE Prime Time television program was scheduled to be broadcast, which highlighted tragic failings in the standard of care at the hospital which led to four perinatal deaths during, or shortly after, the delivery of the babies.

The program – “Fatal Failures” – primarily focused on the story of Roisin and Mark Molloy from Tullamore, County Offaly; whose son Mark died shortly after being delivered on 24th January 2012.

Roisin and Mark had to fight a four-month battle before the hospital acknowledged that their son was still breathing when he was delivered – a condition that is required before an inquest can be held into a fatality.

The hospital´s own investigation into Mark Molloy´s death extended over twenty months – a delay which Dr Crowley described as “lamentable”. He also acknowledged that the Molloys had been deliberately misinformed when they asked questions about the death of their son.

A subsequent independent clinical review into Mark´s death reported “failures in the standard of care provided were casually linked to the foetal hypoxia damage that occurred [and the death of baby Mark]” and made recommendations to prevent such tragedies in the future.

However, as the RTE Investigation Unit discovered, the hospital childbirth negligence continued, and was responsible for the death of three more children due to foetal hypoxia. Two of the deaths were investigated internally, but the parents of the dead children were never advised of the outcomes.

The RTE investigators found that none of the measures that had been recommended following Mark Molloy´s death had been put into practice, and that there was an extreme shortage of midwives to provide as “safe” level of service.

Indeed, whereas the HSE recommends a ratio of one midwife for each twenty-eight women in the later stages of pregnancy, the Portlaoise Hospital had one midwife for every seventy-five expectant mothers – leading to “a lack of understanding of a deteriorating condition resulting in a failure to seek timely medical assistance”.

RTE investigators were also shown a letter written in 2006 by the hospital staff to the then Minister for Health Mary Harney and Minister for Finance Brian Cowen. In the letter concern was expressed over staffing levels at the hospital – a situation had been made clear to the hospital management, but no action had been taken.

The letter concluded by saying there was a “real fear” in the midwifery department that a mother or baby would die before the staffing issues were resolved.

The current Minister for Health James Reilly was invited onto the Today radio show, where he was asked about the hospital childbirth negligence that had taken place at Portlaoise Hospital.

The Minister said that the situation was “utterly unacceptable”, and that he planned to conduct a further investigation into the failings of care at the hospital and the deception that the parents of the dead children had experienced.

“I have asked the Chief Medical Officer to give me a report”, he stated, “It won’t take long and I will take action to make sure that this never happens again.”

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