Irish surgeons misdiagnosed miscarriages in multiple cases

A slew of Irish mothers have come forward in the wake of reports that several hospitals across Ireland misdiagnosed cases of miscarriages only to give birth later to healthy infants.

A mother from Tralee, Co. Kerry, Claire Dwane told the Irish Independent on Wednesday that she only discovered her unborn child (now 7 and a half months old) was alive moments before she was scheduled for a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure in a South Western Hospital last year.

Another case surfaced from Athy, Co. Kildare.

Rebecca Fogarty was told by doctors in a midlands hospital that her now year and a half old daughter was dead. Her husband insisted on a second scan before she went ahead with the D&C.

For a Co. Louth couple a simple home pregnancy test saved their daughter's life.

The couple from Drogheda, Co Louth, are now the proud parents of 17-month-old Elsie, but came close to losing her.

"(Gillian) was gowned up and waiting to go down for the D&C," Colm told the Irish Independent.

"I saw the gynaecologist in the corridor -- I pulled him to one side and said we did a home pregnancy test and it was positive. He scanned Gillian and said: 'You are pregnant and cancel the D&C'."

A father from Athboy, Co. Meath recalls how a second scan - before a scheduled D&C - detected a heartbeat.

A consultant told him: "The scan is only as good as the doctor who is performing it."

The list of complaints go on and on.

Earlier this week the Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland has stepped up precautionary measures after a pregnant woman was told her unborn baby was dead. This was a mistake.

Melissa Redmond, from Donabate, Co. Dublin, was given the abortive drug and scheduled for an abortion to remove the "dead" foetus after a faulty scan misdiagnosed a miscarriage.

Redmond said her motherly instincts prompted her to ask for a second scan just one day before she was due the D&C. Her baby is now 13 weeks.

On Thursday a leading patient support group questioned a review of all recorded cases of misdiagnosed miscarriage over the last five years.

The HSE said more than 150 worried women have called helplines concerned about their treatment at maternity units and hospitals.

A representative of patient advocacy group, Cathriona Molloy said the review may not go back far enough.

"It's right across the country," she warned.

"It there's any doubt at all the doctor needs to get a second opinion. Being pregnant is such a precious thing to be wiped out like that without listening to the mother.

"We had a couple of calls from people who didn't want to ring the helpline, who just didn't trust it - maybe they feel damaged by the system."