Inquest hears baby died after complications from eye operation

Jonathan Borges Gonclaves sufferedbrain damage due to oxygen deprivation

An inquest into the death of a three-month-old baby at University Hospital Galway two years ago has heard he developed complications after an eye operation.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

An inquest into the death of a three-month-old baby at University Hospital Galway two years ago has heard he developed complications after an eye operation. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

An inquest into the death of a three-month-old baby at University Hospital Galway two years ago has heard he developed complications after an eye operation.

Jonathan Borges Gonclaves suffered irreparable brain damage due to oxygen deprivation in May 2016, and died a week later. The inquest heard that equipment to monitor oxygen saturation levels was inadvertently turned off during the procedure.

The baby was born prematurely, at 25 weeks, on February 20th, 2016, and developed a condition known as retinopathy of prematurity, which can result in visual impairment in later life.

The condition is treated with laser eye surgery, and a procedure was carried out on one of his eyes when he was 67 days old.

The inquest heard a second operation was performed on May 18th, 2016, but the baby was unresponsive after the procedure. An MRI scan the following day indicated brain damage, and he died a week later.

Galway West coroner Dr Ciaran McLoughlin returned a narrative verdict in line with the evidence given.

He called on the HSE to review the incident again and also recommended that the capacity for carrying out such procedures in Galway be reinstated, as long as a qualified anaesthetist was on hand to assist the surgeon.

The HSE has apologised to the infant’s parents, who made no comment on leaving the court.