HSE promises inquiry into baby’s death at Cavan hospital

TD says Caesarean section delayed while theatre used for a non-maternity procedure

Cavan General Hospital: a baby boy died following a “clinical incident” in the hospital on April 26th, the HSE confirmed yesterday. Photograph: Colm Connaughton.

Cavan General Hospital: a baby boy died following a “clinical incident” in the hospital on April 26th, the HSE confirmed yesterday. Photograph: Colm Connaughton.

Wed, May 7, 2014, 01:10

The Health Service Executive has promised an external investigation into the death of a baby boy during birth at Cavan General Hospital.

The baby died following a “clinical incident” in the hospital on Saturday, April 26th, the HSE confirmed yesterday.

The boy’s mother was booked in for a Caesarean section in the hospital on the same day, but, according to local Sinn Féin TD Caomhghín Ó Caoláin, this was delayed while the theatre was used for a non-maternity procedure.

Mr Ó Caoláin said this was the second infant death of a patient in the past 18 months. He criticised the fact a report into the previous death has not been finalised, let alone published.


Delay
He claimed that in the latest case, the woman’s Caesarean was delayed by an hour and 20 minutes because the other procedure was being carried out in the theatre where she was to have the operation.

“It is very important that the full facts surrounding the delay are revealed in the investigation and it should also look at the lack of provision of services at the hospital. The delay may have not determined whether this tragedy occurred or not but it’s crucial that this investigation assuages any concerns that it did,” he said.

The HSE responded to Mr Ó Caoláin’s allegations by saying they were inaccurate. It declined to say whether a delay had occurred and if it had, how much time elapsed before the Caesarean was carried out. It did not confirm reports that a consultant has been placed on administrative leave.


Confidentially
“The HSE does not comment on individual cases and must respect patient confidentiality,” a spokeswoman said. The family concerned had requested privacy and had requested the media to refrain from contacting them at this very difficult and distressing time, she added.

According to the HSE, a “full and thorough investigation into this tragic event is now under way”. It was unable to say when this investigation would be completed.

Hospital management have met the family and offered their deepest sympathies and the HSE said it would continue to keep them informed as the investigation continues.

The HSE said its incident management policy was being followed and a full investigation was under way.

Mr Ó Caoláin said that in November 2018, a child was born at the hospital but was transferred to a neonatal unit in the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin where he later died. He said he believes it is in the interests not only of the family involved but of all dependent families across Cavan and Monaghan and adjacent counties that there be full disclosure of the facts.