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Children's health

19th Sep 2023

Temple Street: Taoiseach ‘concerned’ and ‘bothered’ by spinal surgery incidents

Kat O'Connor

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has spoken out following the Temple Street spinal surgery incidents.

The HSE confirmed an external review will take place after an internal review identified 19 “serious spinal surgical incidents”.

A UK expert will now review the cases of one consultant at CHI Temple Street after it was confirmed that patients had suffered post-operative complications.

One patient also passed away, the HSE confirmed.

The HSE issued a statement following the concerning review.

“The primary focus of this external review will be the clinical care provided by an individual consultant based at CHI at Temple Street.”

The HSE stressed that the consultant “is currently not conducting surgeries”.

“This review arises from very serious concerns identified by CHI since last year relating to poor surgical outcomes in spinal surgery at Temple Street, the use of a certain spinal surgical technique, and the use of unauthorised implantable devices.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar expressed his concerns following the review.

He told reporters in New York that there will be an examination by the Medical Council.

“I don’t want to jump to conclusions because this will have to be investigated properly and thoroughly.”

“The kinds of things I’m hearing about and reading about if they’re true, extend well beyond malpractice.”

“It seems that some of these surgeries were performed incorrectly, and children suffered and were harmed as a result of that. That’s unbelievably serious like I can’t overstate how concerned I am about that.”

CHI Ireland will contact all patients and their families who are waiting for spinal surgeries. Anyone concerned about the review can contact the spinal surgery helpline on 01 409 6117.