A High Court judge has directed that all remaining medical records related to a young girl’s alleged “botched” spinal surgery at Temple Street Children’s Hospital be provided to her family’s legal team.
The girl’s family has brought proceedings against Children’s Health Ireland (CHI), which governs paediatric services in several hospitals. The family has now sought orders, including an injunction requiring CHI to provide them with the girl’s medical records.
Mr. Justice David Nolan directed the provision of outstanding medical records but did not make formal orders or injunctions at this stage, as CHI assured the court that they would provide any missing documentation, including medical reviews and X-ray scans. If any documents remain unprovided, CHI will need to explain why to the court.
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has Spina Bifida, and underwent unsuccessful spinal surgery at Temple Street. She experienced serious post-operative complications and requires further surgery. Following media reports on spinal surgeries at the hospital, the family was informed that the surgery was “inappropriate,” resulting in a split spine and the need for additional surgeries.
During the High Court hearing, John Healy SC requested the court to issue the sought orders to bring clarity to the situation. While over 6,600 documents were provided, certain important records were still outstanding, including scans and material related to a surgically inserted rod that became infected and had to be removed. The family also sought internal medical reviews conducted by the hospital after the surgeries.
Records Provided to Plaintiffs
In response, Oonah McCrann SC, representing CHI, claimed that they had fully responded and provided all the records they have on the child to the plaintiffs. The judge adjourned the matter for a week to allow CHI to provide the material or provide a full explanation for any missing documents.
The judge commended the girl’s parents for their dedication to their daughter’s care and expressed concern about the relationship and level of trust between the plaintiffs and CHI.
The girl is one of 19 children who underwent spinal surgery at Temple Street and was the subject of a report on patients with Spina Bifida. The family seeks an injunction to obtain all outstanding medical records and materials, to be assessed by an independent expert, as they consider their actions regarding the alleged inappropriate surgery and delayed disclosure of errors by the hospital.
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