HomeCompany NewsUniversity Hospital Galway Launches a Review after Newborn Babies Suffer Head Injuries

University Hospital Galway Launches a Review after Newborn Babies Suffer Head Injuries

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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.

Probe Ordered

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.”

For Further Information

For more details on the matter, please contact Avril Scally, Partner and Head of our award-winning Medical Negligence Team.