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HSE report says important symptoms missed before infant's death

Parents were told their 14-week-old son’s case was a “catalogue of errors” as his leukaemia was misdiagnosed as colic.
Oct 29th 2010, 9:10 AM 373 0

AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE DEATH of a 14-week-old baby in Cork last year shows that his leukaemia symptoms were misdiagnosed for nine weeks before his death.

Adam O’Connor of Mallow, Co Cork, died on 17 February, 2009, two days after leukaemia was diagnosed.

His parents, Tom and Julia O’Connor, told TV3 yesterday that the diagnosis came too late.

They said their child had been in pain for up to 12 hours a day, but doctors told them he was suffering from colic and constipation.

A HSE-ordered review of the baby’s treatment at Cork University Hospital said that important symptoms were missed, according to the Irish Examiner. The report also said that there had been poor communication and coordination between the health bodies involved in the case.

On the child’s first attendance at hospital, he was examined by a doctor who had no previous emergency or paediatric experience, according to TV3. A follow-up assessment which was recommended during his second hospital visit was never carried out.

Julie O’Connor said that HSE representatives told them that their son’s case was a “catalogue of errors” and that he had been failed at every turn.

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Susan Ryan

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