Court to rule on blood for baby

THE High Court will today consider whether to order an emergency blood transfusion to a baby girl born prematurely a week ago in the Coombe Hospital, Dublin.

The child, weighing less than 2lb, was born to Jehovah’s Witnesses parents who have refused to agree to a blood transfusion should it become necessary in an emergency.

Barrister Eileen Barrington, counsel for the Coombe chief executive, told Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy the child was not in imminent danger.

She said the baby may require emergency treatment should she develop an infection and the hospital would require a direction from the court before it could administer a transfusion. Ms Barrington said should the child develop an infection she would require a blood transfusion and her parents had made it clear they would not permit a transfusion.

Judge McCarthy heard that the baby had been born at 28 weeks and five days. Her medical carers were concerned she was at risk of developing problems which could cause serious, rapid deterioration.

Judge McCarthy granted the hospital permission to serve short notice on the parents of its intention to seek a court order directing that a blood transfusion take place in the event of an emergency.

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