Tuesday 16 January 2018

I've lost trust in Crumlin after infection errors, says mum

Crumlin patient Jake Doyle with parents, Anna and Ambrose
Crumlin patient Jake Doyle with parents, Anna and Ambrose
Tony O'Brien, HSE director-general, at Leinster House to address the Oireachtas committee

Paul Melia and Fiach Kelly

A MOTHER at the centre of the Crumlin contamination scandal has said she has lost all trust in the children's hospital.

Anna Doyle was mistakenly told that her son Jake (16) was at risk of contacting a bug that can lead to blood or kidney infections. She said her family had suffered "major stress" and that her "confidence" in the hospital had been "shaken".

Her comments came after Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin admitted that the parents of 18 patients had mistakenly been told their children were at risk of contracting the bug ESBL (extended spectrum beta lactamases).

Tony O'Brien, the HSE's director-general, said the incident was a "catastrophic failure".

Addressing the Oireachtas committee on health yesterday morning, he said: "No amount of spinning by public relations companies can mask the seriousness of the issue".

ESBL can cause infection and lead to further illness for young people whose defences are already weakened by some other condition.

The hospital said it had contacted seven other families whose children had undergone a procedure with a contaminated colonoscope between May 17 and July 5 last.

A crack was found in the colonoscope and tests showed it contained the bug, which cannot be cleared by antibiotics, but can be treated.

In a statement, Crumlin apologised for any distress caused, saying each of the seven families and their GPs had been contacted and each had been issued with an information pack and a sample stool-testing kit.

Any child found to be positive would be provided with the "necessary information and support", it added.

Ms Doyle, from Ashford in Co Wicklow, said she was not reassured, adding that two of her children had undergone a procedure.

"They gave us major stress for two days," she said. "I wasn't happy about that. There wasn't any apology. I had two children where the scopes were used.

"Jake's twin sister Jordina had the same procedure on the same day, so she could be at risk. I just don't trust Crumlin. I don't believe them any more.

"This shakes my confidence big time. We had a great relationship and had 100pc trust. Now I feel like I was stupid."

Health Minister Dr James Reilly said: "There was a major communication issue here, many people were upset unnecessarily and I am frankly very sorry about that. I think we have to learn from this and make sure that these avoidable errors never happen again."

Dr Colm Costigan, clinical director of the three Dublin paediatric hospitals, apologised for the distress caused to families.

He said he had personally contacted the original 18 families on Wednesday night to assure them they were not affected, adding that seven other families had been informed their child was at risk.

Irish Independent

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