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Baby died just hours after doc said he had gas

AN inquest into the death of a week-old baby has heard how he went limp in his grandmother's arms hours after his parents had brought him to Westdoc for treatment.

Oisin Clancy was just eight days old when he died as a result of meningitis caused by a Group A Streptococcus infection on January 7, 2012.

His mother Catherine Clancy yesterday criticised the care received from her GP, Westdoc and the maternity staff.

In the hours leading up to his death, his father David Clancy rang Westdoc up to eight times requesting a doctor see the baby who had suddenly stopped eating and was keeping his mouth clamped shut.


They were told the child may have colic and not to attend.

On the final call they decided they would bring Oisin in regardless of the doctor's view. He was examined by a doctor on call and sent home with a suppository for the baby after being informed he had gas.

However, within hours Oisin, of Ballybawn, Headford, Co Galway, went limp in the arms of his grandmother Angela.

"I could see that he was breathing but his body felt lifeless," said his mother.

Baby Oisin was rushed to Galway University Hospital where he failed to respond to antibiotics.

His condition deteriorated and he died on the morning of January 7, 2012 from meningitis as a result of Strep A.

The inquest heard Westdoc had recorded four calls from Mr Clancy, at 3.09am, 6.16am, 6.52am and 8.38am.

Counsel for the family said that Mr Clancy had first called shortly after 2am and not at 3.09am as the records claimed.

Siobhan O'Sullivan from Westdoc said a review of the case had resulted in the service discovering a problem with their own phone systems.

The inquest earlier heard how Catherine Clancy had never been made aware by her GP that she had developed a Strep B infection which can be passed on to babies causing meningitis, and a dispute arose between GPs Grace Doyle and Niamh O'Brien as to which of them opened the results.

Staff at the hospital only became aware of Mrs Clancy's infection hours after her delivery, when a nurse "stumbled" upon the results on screen.

Had they known prior to this Mrs Clancy would have been given antibiotics during labour.

This would have given both Mrs Clancy and her son protection from infection for up to 24 hours but would not have offered any protection from infection in the community after discharge.


A nurse later informed Mrs Clancy of the infection but never told her it could cause meningitis in babies.

Had she known she would have been on "high alert" for meningitis and would have brought Oisin straight to A&E after he stopped feeding on January 6.

"If we were given the information we could have possibly saved our child," she added.

Consultant obstetrician Prof John Morrison told the inquest there was no evidence of Strep B infection in the baby.

Dr Martin Cormican, a consultant microbiologist at UHG, said Strep A and Strep B were two distinct species and one could not become the other.

The inquest was adjourned to next month.