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Thursday 22 March 2018

More families complain of Portiuncula Hospital care

Lorraine and Warren Reilly, who lost two babies in two years
Lorraine and Warren Reilly, who lost two babies in two years
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

The number of families adversely affected by the maternity services at Portiuncula Hospital has risen to at least 15.

Several more families have come forward to state that they lost babies or had newborns suffer oxygen deprivation at the hospital's maternity unit.

Following on from the decision of one Galway couple to go public with their story it has now emerged that a total of 15 families may be affected.

Seven of these cases were earmarked for review by the hospital group Saolta; however, this review is now expected to be extended to take into account all similar cases. Warren and Lorraine Reilly, who lost two babies at the Galway hospital within two years, have been contacted by representatives from the hospital to discuss the terms of reference for the review.

Mr Reilly said they had been overwhelmed by the support they had received since going public about the deaths of their daughters, Asha and Amber, in 2008 and 2010.

"What we have been looking for all along is a broadening of the terms of reference for the review. It now looks like that is going to happen," said Mr Reilly. A spokesperson for Saolta said it could not comment on individual cases. However, it stressed that it would communicate with all families affected.

Local Fine Gael TD Ciarán Cannon said he had been contacted by a number of families affected by the services. He called for the review to be extended to cover incidents going back to 2009.


"I have been contacted by a number of other families who also have similar experiences. They did so on the basis that I would request [Health] Minister [Leo] Varadkar to extend the time scale of the review to include a period going back to at least 2009 and perhaps even further," he said.

Mr Cannon said he had passed the details onto Mr Varadkar. "If we are to trust the outcome of any review it must include the experience of all families who have had such tragic outcomes," he said.

Irish Independent

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