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Faulty baby scan scandal may have hit 24 women

AN INQUIRY into the miscarriage misdiagnosis scandal is investigating if as many as 24 women were incorrectly told they had lost their babies.

The outcome of the probe is set to be released in a soon-to-be completed HSE report.

A briefing document, provided to Health Minister James Reilly in advance, confirms that dozens of women may have been wrongly told their pregnancies had ended.

Recent revelations that hospital doctors had given incorrect information to expectant mothers because of faulty foetal scanning equipment and no second opinion prompted the inquiry, which started last June.

The controversy emerged after Dublin mum Melissa Redmond told her story.

The Donabate native was eight weeks pregnant when she was told following a scan at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda that she had miscarried once more on July 22, 2009.

Despite being told that she should take an abortion-inducing drug to remove the foetal remains, the mother-of-three insisted on re-visiting her GP for a second opinion.

The second scan showed a foetal heartbeat and her son Michael was born on March 6 the following year.

"All those little milestones," Mrs Redmond said last night.

"His first steps, he was walking at 11 months. Stuff like that always hits home that he may not have been with us."

Michael's story caused a national outcry and widespread concern.



shocked

And now the upcoming report -- chaired by Prof William Ledger, vice president of Britain's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists -- due to be published this summer, says that at least two dozen women since 2005 could have been in the same situation.

"I'm very shocked. I don't understand how that could happen so many times," Ms Redmond said.

Since her misdiagnosis became public knowledge, 19 public and private maternity units have adopted recommendations that a woman who has suffered a miscarriage must not be given abortive drugs unless the diagnosis has been approved by a consultant obstetrician.

hnews@herald.ie


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