Tuesday 17 October 2017

Hospital baby probe may be extended to other cases

Portiuncula Hospital, which is located in Ballinasloe, Co Galway
Portiuncula Hospital, which is located in Ballinasloe, Co Galway
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

MORE families who want answers about the care of their dead or injured baby in Portiuncula Hospital may be included in an upcoming inquiry into seven cases.

The terms of reference of the inquiry and the team which will conduct it will be finalised this week or next.

The inquiry will look at the deaths of two babies between January and November last year and the births of five others who suffered lack of oxygen.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said the team would include people from outside the hospital group.

He said he was open to more cases being added, but there would be little point in having fragmented reviews into the same cases.

"Not all baby deaths are due to medical misadventure. The majority are not. Maternal and newborn deaths are always a tragedy. They happen in every country and we don't have a particularly high rate."

A spokesman for Portiuncula said he could not comment on individual cases.

The hospital group would deal directly with people who rang its helpline and raised concerns about care, he added.

Irish Independent

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