Doctor in case of baby Mark Molloy requests adjournment over HSE maternity monitors review

Mark and Roisin Molloy. Photo Denis Byrne.

Mark and Roisin Molloy. Photo Denis Byrne.

A doctor at the centre of a Medical Council inquiry has sought an adjournment to wait and see the outcome of a review that the HSE is carrying out.

The HSE has confirmed that it is investigating the use of equipment used to monitor foetal and maternal heart rates at maternity units but has declined to say which hospitals may be subject to the review.

Urgent recall notice was issued for monitoring equipment at maternity units - HSE confirms.

Maternity unit monitors now linked to past problems at Portlaoise and other hospitals.

The doctor who has sought the adjournement was involved in the case of baby Mark Molloy from Laois.

Roisin and Mark Molloy's baby, Mark, died 22 minutes after he was born at the Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise on January 24, 2012.

The doctor who cannot be named was a registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology and is facing allegations of professional misconduct and/or poor professional performance.

Among the allegations are that the doctor failed to review the cardiotocograph adequately and failed to correctly interpret the CTG as being abnormal.

Roísín and Mark Molloy from Kilcavan, Co. Laois are at the hearing, which is day five of the inquiry, following previous sittings in November.

The Fitness to Practice Committee has asked lawyers for the inquiry to establish if there definitely is a HSE review and a likely timeline.

It is reported that the inquiry heard about field safety notices issued in November 2009 and June 2010 by Philips, the makers of a cardiotocograph (CTG) machine at Portlaoise.

RTE reports Frank Beatty SC, for the council, said the notice of November 8, 2009 was termed a recall but was not a recall of the equipment.

He said there were known inherent limitations to the technology and the safety notice raised the higher frequency of inaccuracies in the equipment. But he said that Philips did not see a need to stop using the CTG machine at the time.

It also advised that staff be made aware of the issues.

Further notice issued on 20 June 2010 from Philips said that staff should not solely rely on the CTG trace and should independently check the heart rate.

It is also reported that Mr Beatty said there are news reports that the Health Service Executive is investigating certain foetal monitors in Portlaoise, but the council knew nothing more about this than what is being reported in the media.

In a statement the HSE said a number of communications have been received by the HSE in recent weeks in relation to an urgent - medical device recall dating back nearly decade.

The notice was dated 20th November 2009. The HSE says this Field Safety Notice (FSN) relates to concerns about 'Avalon Fetal Monitors' in use in Irish hospitals and in particular "the potential safety concerns" that led to its issuing.

RTE reports Mr Beatty said the Medical Council inquiry should proceed and that the view of the council's independent medical expert is that these latest matters have no bearing on the allegations against the doctor.

The doctor has requested an adjournment in order to see the outcome of this reported review.

However, Mr Beatty said he did not know if the review is about to happen, or how long it would take.

He said the view of the Council’s chief executive is that any HSE review does not impact on this inquiry.

Mr Beatty said that if an adjournment was granted to the doctor by the Fitness to Practice Committee, that it should be for the purpose of him obtaining legal advice.

Increase in births at Portlaoise hospital confirmed by HSE.

COMMENT: Statistics confirm January as worst every month for hospital overcrowding.

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.