Saturday 18 November 2017

Drogheda identifies three more breech babies

Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

THREE more babies whose breech position was not diagnosed until their mothers went into labour were born in Our Lady's of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda after last year's audit into similar cases.

However, it is unclear what stage of labour the women were at. Diagnosis of a breech baby - where they are feet first, compared to the normal head first - in late labour is regarded as a "significant incident".

The hospital yesterday said of the 21 cases, which included one baby death over 26 months, eight were not detected until the late stages of labour. It is insisting its rate of 9.5pc of not diagnosing a breech baby until labour is well below the international average of 20pc to 25pc.

Dr Alan Finan, the hospital's clinical director, said 13 cases in the audit involved women who were in early labour and doctors identified them when they presented at the maternity unit.

The audit, up to last July, was carried out following the death of one breech baby in 2013 and two other complaints.

The audit was the first formal examination of its kind at the hospital but routine checks may also have taken place, he added.

He said: "The chances of you being in a breech position at delivery are small. The figures for Drogheda are very much on par and possibly below the common incidence."


Half the babies examined in the audit were born before the infant death and the others after the tragedy. The hospital said the incidence of these undiagnosed breech babies has since reduced with further training which was carried out at the Rotunda Hospital.

Meanwhile, the hospital has the highest number of patients on trolleys yesterday with 42 waiting for a bed.

The HSE is to start advertising for a range of full-time hospital specialists for hospitals across the country following union agreement on revised salaries of up to €175,000.

The advertisements are due to be open next week. These will be followed by another 30 job offers.

Currently, around 120 other vacancies for consultants have been advertised while 80 doctors who are filling in as locums will be offered full-time positions.

The shortage of doctors has been causing major problems for hospitals and contributing to patient delays.

They have faced major problems attracting doctors but hope the improved salaries change that.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News