HSE confines investigation into miscarriage misdiagnosis cases to past five years

THE HSE is to investigate all suspected miscarriage misdiagnosis cases over the past five years in an attempt to uncover the true scale of the growing terminated pregnancies scandal.

A spokesperson confirmed the review, which will be based on the health service’s Serious Incident (SI) protocols, will focus specifically on women who were recommended drug or surgical treatment to remove what was in reality a perfectly healthy foetus.

The nationwide examination, which the HSE was forced to instigate after a string of new mothers came forward to reveal how they nearly lost their babies, will focus initially on complaints by the expectant mother at the time of the incident.

It will also examine a growing list of new cases which have come to light this week, and further disputed cases which may or may not involve miscarriage misdiagnoses.

The review will be confined to the past five years.

The move came as a joint letter from Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the Department of Health, and Dr Barry White, HSE national director for quality and clinical care, was sent to all public and private obstetric facilities asking them to immediately implement new safety measures in suspected miscarriage cases.

The letter has stated that “the decision to use drugs or surgical intervention in women who have had a miscarriage diagnosed must be approved by a consultant obstetrician”.

While a clinical programme for obstetric care in Ireland has recently been established, this recommendation is not mandatory.

More than 150 have contacted emergency helpline numbers since yesterday.

Health Minister Mary Harney is continuing to refuse to comment on the issue, claiming it is a matter for the HSE.

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