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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 5°C
RTÉ Teresa and Ronan Dunne, parents of Eoghan Dunne.
# Portiuncula
'I hoped it was just nature and that we were just unlucky, but no'
A report was compiled into the care provided to a young child at Poriuncula Hospital without the knowledge of his parents.

PORTIUNCULA HOSPITAL REPORTEDLY compiled a report in the care provided to an 11-month-old child without informing the parents until five months later.

RTÉ’s Prime Time programme revealed this evening the story of Eoghan Dunne, who presented at the hospital in August 2012 having been referred by a GP.

The chain of events that followed has left Eoghan with severe neurological damage.

In the report, the hospital found that the use of an ‘early warning score system’ could have helped staff refer Eoghan to senior doctors and have helped diagnose his illness quicker.

His parents, Teresa and Ronan Dunne, said they were ‘shocked’ by the report.

“I couldn’t believe it and I couldn’t actually read the report so I asked Ronan will you read the report and just tell me what it says, I just can’t read it, I just didn’t want to go back to that day and what had happened,” Teresa told Prime Time.

I don’t know, I just hoped that maybe it was just nature and that it had happened and we were really unlucky and Eoghan was unlucky but no.

Writing to Eoghan’s parents about the report, the hospital apologised for not informing the family sooner.

Almost 12 hours after arriving at Portiuncula, Eoghan was transferred to Temple Street Children’s Hospital, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia.

He was left with brain damage after developing septic shock and suffering a heart attack.

“He does have numerous difficulties, a major one being that he can’t lift up his own head, he can’t lift up his body so he wears a white lycra suit, he’s tube fed, there are issues around his swallow,” Teresa explained.

We don’t know if he’ll ever walk, he can’t really use his legs or arms functionally. He has limited vision, he can definitely see bright lights, and he’ll focus in on a bright shining light but he doesn’t really track or follow you.

A review of the care provided to seven babies at the hospital found “apparent deficiencies” in their care.

The review found that found that two of the infants died and five had evidence of oxygen deprivation during delivery.

“I hear about early warning systems not being used, you know, that’s mentioned in our report,” Ronan said,” I mean our report says, you know, that this should be shared among all medical people to learn from, to use as an education tool but I mean, was it shared in Portiuncula?”

The hospital denied that the timing of the report’s release was related to a separate Prime Time report into Portlaoise hospital.

In a statement to Prime Time, Saolta said the group “will be dealing directly with all service users who raise concerns and their issues will be dealt with appropriately in line with agreed policies, including the HSE Open Disclosure policy’.

Read: Two babies died and five more were deprived of oxygen at Galway maternity hospital >

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