February 19, 2024
Sodium Valproate (Epilim) Inquiry
In November 2020, the Minister for Health, Mr Stephen Donnelly, announced that an inquiry would take place into the historical licensing and use of the epilepsy drug Sodium Valproate (also...
It has been reported today by the Irish Independent, 24 August 2023, that University Hospital Galway (“UHG”) has launched a review after newborn babies suffered head injuries while being delivered last year.
Diagnosis of Rare Condition
Babies born in UHG were diagnosed with subgaleal haemorrhage, a rare condition associated with seizures, brain damage, cerebral palsy and development disabilities when not recognised or treated properly. The haemorrhage can be caused by trauma to a baby’s head from pulling, dragging or compressing of the baby’s head through the mother’s pelvis during delivery. Errors in the use of vacuum extractors or forceps can also cause the injury.
The mother of a child, whose birth is being reviewed, was advised that the probe was ordered following a rise in occurrences of the injury over a short period but UHG has not confirmed how many cases are being examined.
Cases Under Review
The review is examining cases where subgaleal haemorrhages occurred during 2022. The hospital has advised the Irish Independent that in all cases under review, the children involved were discharged home well from the hospital.
The statement noted the haemorrhages had been logged with the National Incident Management System, in line with the HSE’s incident management framework.
Minister Donnelly Welcomes the Review
Minister for Health Mr. Stephen Donnelly has welcomed the review commenting that what’s happening here is “the hospital is initiating a review. It’s exactly the type of thing we want to see hospitals do when they spot a potential patient safety issue. Critically, there has to be full openness and transparency with the parents involved.”
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