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HSE review of foetal monitors 'extremely worrying' - Louise O'Reilly TD

12 February, 2018 - by Louise O'Reilly TD


Sinn Féin Health spokesperson, Deputy Louise O’Reilly, has said that a HSE review into the use of foetal monitors, which were recalled in 2009 due to inaccurate readings, is 'extremely worrying'. 

Teachta O’Reilly said: 

“Today’s report that the HSE is to review safety concerns relating to the use of certain foetal monitors in Irish maternity hospitals is extremely worrying. 

“The foetal monitoring devices in question were recalled in 2009 due to a high volume of complaints that certain models of the foetal monitoring machine were taking inaccurate readings.

“Philips who manufactured the foetal monitors issued a product recall in 2009 warning that of non-implementation of corrective action could cause injury or death to mothers and babies. 

“The recall was sent to 11 Irish hospitals but the HSE is now investigating of appropriate action was taken in response to the recall, and if these models are still in use in some hospitals.

“Even more worrying was that the recall was also sent to the Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise, which featured as part of an RTÉ investigation in 2014 concerning the deaths of five babies.  

“It is hard to understate the seriousness of this issue, it is incredibly worrying and leaves serious questions to be asked about maternal care in Irish hospitals past and present. 

“The situation also raises deeper questions about how women are treated in our health service.

“Last July I submitted a number of Parliamentary Questions to the Minister for Health asking questions from how many ultrasound machines we had in our hospitals, how many ultra-sonographers there was, the age profile of every ultrasound machine our hospitals, and various other questions relating to maternity care. 

“For nearly every question I asked the reply came:

“On behalf of the National Clinical Programme for Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Clinical Strategy and Programmes Division and the Acute Hospitals Division, we regret to inform you that the information being sought is unavailable at National level”.

“This cavalier attitude at a national level to women’s health is extremely concerning. 

“This review into these foetal monitors is extremely necessary, but the HSE and those responsible for the safety of women and babies have serious questions to answer over how women’s health is being failed time and time again.  

“On behalf of the National Clinical Programme for Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Clinical Strategy and Programmes Division and the Acute Hospitals Division, we regret to inform you that the information being sought is unavailable at National level.”

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