Number of spinal procedures carried out on children has decreased by almost a third

Number of spinal procedures carried out on children has decreased by almost a third

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The number of spinal procedures carried out on children has decreased by almost a third this year.

The Health Minister says more than 200 children are waiting for surgery in three hospitals in Dublin.

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine, which is often diagnosed in childhood.

At the end of August, there were 218 children with the condition waiting for a spinal procedure at Crumlin, Temple Street and Cappagh Hospitals.

In the first eight months of this year, 177 scoliosis procedures had taken place on children, a 29% decrease on the same period last year.

Sinn Féin's health spokesman, David Cullinane, says it is unacceptable.

“It’s very important that as we deal with Covid care, we also have non-Covid care and those specialist services.

“And especially for services like treating children with scoliosis and medical procedures in that area. That they are also up and running,” he said.

David Moore, an orthopaedic surgeon in Children's Health Ireland in Crumlin, said: “Unfortunately, because of the Covid-crisis out ability to operate was absolutely eliminated for a number of months and is currently still constrained.

“So the consequent result of that is that the number of patients that we’ve been able to operate on is significantly down.” 

Children's Health Ireland says it sincerely regrets that children and their families are experiencing long waiting times.

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