A MOTHER is appealing to the new health minister Stephen Donnelly to introduce brain cooling into all of Ireland’s maternity hospitals.
Shortly after baby Luan Collins was born in December of 2018 in University Hospital Limerick, it was found he was suffering from a condition known as HIE – and urgently needed a special form of treatment known as ‘brain cooling’.
Luan from Sixmilebridge was whisked away from his mother Laura, and a race against time began to get him to the nearest hospital where this treatment was available – in Cork city.
The hours ticked by, as a specialist ambulance travelled from Dublin to Limerick to pick him up and transport him to Cork.
Luckily, Luan’s story had a happy outcome. He made a full recovery and is now a happy, healthy toddler.
But the story could have been very different.
Failure to get the baby the treatment he or she needs, within that crucial time frame of six hours, can result in life-limiting brain injuries or even death.
Limerick-based solicitor Carmel Finnegan, who specialises in birth injuries, came across such cases during the course of her work with Dennison Solicitors in Abbeyfeale.
She has launched a campaign to have brain cooling introduced into all of Ireland’s maternity hospitals – so every baby born in Ireland has the same chance, and their chance of survival is not dictated by geography.