Friday 24 March 2017

Miscarriage-scandal victims' fury at report

Melissa Redmond was mistakenly told she had miscarried her son Michael, who is now one year old
Melissa Redmond was mistakenly told she had miscarried her son Michael, who is now one year old

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

Melissa Redmond was mistakenly told she had miscarried her son Michael, who is now one year old.

FAMILIES at the centre of the miscarriage misdiagnosis controversy have expressed anger that they will be given only hours to digest the report into the scandal before it is finally released later today.

The long-awaited report will be published this afternoon and is expected to focus on 24 cases over a five-year period -- an average of one every two and a half months -- where women were wrongly told their unborn babies were dead.

But the women at the centre of the report will not see the document until this morning, even though it is due to be published later this afternoon.

The women whose cases have been included have been contacted in recent days by the HSE and were told they will be delivered a copy of the report in advance of its publication.

Melissa Redmond, whose case sparked the whole inquiry, last night criticised the timing of the report's release.

The Irish Independent last year revealed the case of Melissa, a mother from Donabate in north Dublin, who was told she had miscarried after having a scan at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. Her baby, Michael, is now one-year-old.

Mrs Redmond said her husband, also called Michael, will be in work when the report is delivered and will not have the chance to see it before he arrives home.

Angry

"Michael is extremely angry about it because the likelihood is it will be on the news before he gets to read it," Mrs Redmond said last night.

"It has taken a long time for them to finish the review so we can't see why the families would not be given a little extra time to go through the report themselves."

Martha Brennan, from Athenry in Co Galway, who was also wrongly told her then unborn son Aaron was dead, said there would be little time to digest the report's contents.

"It's a very small time to read it and digest it before it is on the news a couple of hours later," Ms Brennan said last night. "It will all depend on what exactly is in the report, I suppose."

A review group was established in the wake of the cases of Mrs Redmond, Ms Brennan and others coming to light. It examined cases where a diagnosis of miscarriage was made in error and drug or surgical treatment was recommended to a woman, and where subsequent information later showed the unborn baby was still alive.

A HSE spokeswoman said efforts were being made to ensure all women concerned were given the report in enough time to allow them consider its contents before it is made public.

A Department of Health briefing document prepared for new Health Minister Dr James Reilly revealed that the review group was told of 32 possible cases by maternity hospitals and 24 of these were deemed to merit investigation.

Irish Independent

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