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Doctor told me my baby was dead, two days later it was fine

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Aimme Nolan at her home in Walsh Island, Co Offaly

Aimme Nolan at her home in Walsh Island, Co Offaly

Aimme Nolan and her son Jack (3) at their home in Walsh Island, Co Offaly

Aimme Nolan and her son Jack (3) at their home in Walsh Island, Co Offaly

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Aimme Nolan at her home in Walsh Island, Co Offaly

A PREGNANT Dublin mother was mistakenly told her baby had died in her womb.

The HSE has apologised after Aimee Nolan (26) was told by doctors at Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise that they couldn't find a heartbeat.

The 14-week pregnant mother, who now lives in Offaly, was informed that her baby appeared to be at a developmental stage of nine weeks and had not grown. Ms Nolan was then told her baby was dead.

However, when she and her husband returned to the hospital two days later to prepare for a surgical procedure and underwent a second scan, they discovered that the baby was in fact alive.

The mum-of-one told RTE's Prime Time about her ordeal.

She described how she had been referred to the hospital after her local GP couldn't find a heartbeat and then waited for two hours before a doctor carried out a scan.

"The GP did say not to panic and explained the baby could be too far down to hear," she told Midlands 103 radio station.

Ms Nolan was told by medics at the hospital there was no detection of a heartbeat and the baby appeared not to have grown for five weeks.

Aimee was "inconsolable" and while she could "hardly take it in" herself, her son Jack (3) was also hugely upset to see his mother in such a state.

Ms Nolan was asked to return to the hospital the following Monday, seven days later. Her husband contacted the hospital on Tuesday and requested an earlier date for the D&C surgical procedure or the medication to induce labour.

The couple returned to the hospital on Wednesday where a second scan was undertaken. A heartbeat was detected and the baby was noted to be the correct size for the stage in pregnancy.

"Nobody could say anything in the room, but it was obvious from the screen our baby was alive and well," she said.

"It was kicking its legs and waving its arms. We were just in shock. Joy, anger, shock... I didn't know whether to laugh, cry or lash out and ask why were we told our baby was dead and then when we came in two days later it's not measuring nine weeks and it has a heartbeat."

"I just asked, 'Is that the size of the baby?' and they replied, 'Yes'. Then I asked, 'And is that a heartbeat?' and they replied, 'Yes'."

Minister of State for Primary Care, Mental Health and Disability Kathleen Lynch told Prime Time she was shocked by Ms Nolan's story and would be questioning the HSE on the current state of affairs at the Midland Regional Hospital.

In a statement the HSE told the Herald that while it does not comment on individual patient's care it can confirm that it is aware of the circumstances and the matter is being fully reviewed.

The statement also said a consultant obstetrician met with the family yesterday and apologised.

"The management of the Maternity Services at MRHP said they wish to apologise for any distress caused to the woman concerned and her family," the statement added.

hnews@herald.ie

hnews@herald.ie


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