An Irish hospital mistakenly told a pregnant women that her unborn baby was dead and arranged for her to have an operation to remove the foetus.

The woman saved her unborn child's life after she sought a second opinion from her primary doctor who could hear the baby's heart beating.

Now, mom Melissa Redmond has gone public with her shocking story to encourage women to seek second opinions.

She says the Lourdes hospital in Drogheda relied on out-of-date and unsuitable equipment.

Even now, some of the faulty equipment is still being used, according to a report in Tuesday's Irish Independent.

The nightmare for Dublin woman Melissa began on July 22 2009 when she received an internal scan eight weeks into her pregnancy.

She said she was anxious to get an early scan because she had had four miscarriages.

The scan only lasted a few minutes and Melissa was devastated to hear she had miscarried again.

With her husband Michael, Melissa decided to have their "dead" child removed.

The D&C procedure was scheduled for July 24 and Melissa was also given the drug Cytotec to help her body expel the foetus.

However, Melissa says she felt that something was not right and went to her local doctor to get a second opinion.

An external scan showed the baby's heart beating and confirmed that the baby was in fact alive.

Their son, Michael, was born on March 6 this year.

"If this was my first pregnancy, I wouldn't have known any different," says Melissa.

"I would have just went with what they said. The only reason I questioned it is because it wasn't my first pregnancy and because I've had miscarriages as well that I knew the feeling.

"I knew to trust my own instincts and my own body.

"How many girls have gone in there and it could have been their first one and they wouldn't have been any wiser?"

Lourdes hospital in Drogheda