December 4, 2023


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Call for review of spinal ops at all hospitals#Call #review #spinal #ops #hospitals

There have been calls for an independent review of children’s spinal surgery in all hospitals in the wake of serious concerns about care at CHI at Temple Street.

The HSE has ordered an external review of orthopaedic surgery at the hospital following a number of “serious spinal surgical incidents”.

One child has died among a group of 19 who faced a number of issues. An unusually high rate of post-surgery complications, such as requiring unplanned follow-on surgery, was identified among 16 children after concerns were raised by staff.

CHI found, in three cases, an unauthorised implanted medical device was used; one of these three was also affected by post-surgery complications.

A hospital spokeswoman said: “Complex spinal surgery for patients with spina bifida has transferred to CHI at Crumlin. A continuity-of-care plan has been developed to support CHI meeting its projected activity targets for 2023 and 2024 for spinal surgery.”

This includes a specific procedure, kyphectomy, “using a standard construct implant, if needed”, she said.

The Irish Examiner understands patients of a consultant, whose work is at the centre of the controversy, have been transferred.

The concerns over the children’s treatment were mainly detailed in an internal and external review previously commissioned by CHI. The hospital group published a summary of these yesterday.

Amanda Coughlan, co-lead of the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Paediatric Advocacy Group, said it is not enough for the HSE to review Temple Street in isolation.

“We would like to see a full, comprehensive independent review into the services for children with spina bifida across all sites,” she said.

“We have been banging our heads against this brick wall [of delays] but things have gotten much worse, despite major investment into services.”

Ms Coughlan called for the external review to be published. “Sweeping mistakes under the carpet should be a thing of the past.”

The Temple Street Hospital in Dublin.
The Temple Street Hospital in Dublin.

CHI chief medical officer Allan Goldman said: “We deeply regret the impact that the issues identified have had on patients and their families. We welcome the HSE’s external review.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, speaking in New York, said the situation is concerning. “I can’t imagine how the parents of the children who’ve been affected could be feeling at the moment. I know any family that is affected has been engaged with and open disclosure is happening,” he said.

“So, I do want to reassure any family that if this concerns them, they have been informed already and a full investigation is underway.

“We have very good outcomes and children get very good healthcare, in the main, in Ireland. But that’s not to say that sometimes services don’t fail and sometimes there aren’t difficulties with individual practitioners. It’s important now that there’s a full investigation.”

Tánaiste Micheal Martin, also in New York, said that the external review is the “right decision”.

“Our deep sympathies are with any parents who have lost a child in a situation like this, but the ordering of the review should give faith broadly in the health service,” he said. 

“For families affected it is devastating and no words of mine would console any mother or father in terms of the loss of their child in such circumstances.”

#Call #review #spinal #ops #hospitals

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