Thursday 14 December 2017

Fresh concern raised over Portiuncula hospital care

Teresa and Ronan Dunne with Eoghan (3)
Teresa and Ronan Dunne with Eoghan (3)
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

A COUPLE have raised major questions over the care their son received in Portiuncula Hospital.

Teresa and Ronan Dunne have three children - two girls and their youngest child, Eoghan (3) with his parents, who has serious neurological damage.

In August 2012 Teresa noticed that Eoghan was displaying some symptoms where gave her cause for concern, and he was brought to Portiuncula Hospital, having got a referral from a GP.

Eoghan's condition deteriorated - and Teresa was told he would require ventilation. Twelve hours after arriving at the hospital he was transferred to Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin.

It was decided 11 month old Eoghan had pneumonia - he later suffered cardiac arrest. He has major neurological damage, and spent a total of six months in hospital.

In February 2014, the Dunne family received by registered post a report on the care provided to Eoghan at Portiuncula Hospital in Co Galway.


They had been totally unaware of the existence of this report - which had been completed five months previously - and in a letter the hospital apologised for not informing the family earlier.

It identified a root cause of Eoghan's care failings.

It said the use of an early warning score system which determines the severity of a patient's condition would have "prompted earlier referral to senior clinical decision-making and review by the Paediatric Consultant on call".

Eoghan "would then likely have arrived in PICU in a better condition".

The Dunnes say they've also been left devastated by revelations that the hospital is reviewing the treatment of seven babies born last year.

At the weekend, it was revealed that the HSE is investigating the deaths of 30 babies in Irish hospitals.

Mrs Dunne said: "Eoghan does have numerous difficulties, a major one being that he can't lift up his own head, he can't lift up his body so he wears a white lycra suit, he's tube fed, there are issues around his swallow.

"We don't know if he'll ever walk, he can't really use his legs or arms functionally. He has limited vision ... he'll focus in on a bright shining light, but he doesn't really track or follow you."

The couple were speaking in a special report on last night's edition of 'Prime Time'.

Irish Independent

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