Serious Spinal Surgical Incidents

It has been reported in the Irish Times and various other media outlets that an external review of spinal surgeries is to be carried out by a UK expert, Mr. Nayagam, based in Liverpool, following on from two reviews, both internal and external which were set up to look into the care provided by one consultant to some seventeen patients being children who had undergone complex spinal surgery at Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) in Temple Street.

Worryingly, it has also come to light that unauthorised devices were implanted in three patients during spinal surgical procedures. These two reviews were undertaken after two serious post-operative incidents occurred in July and September 2022.

An analysis of post-operative complications found that:

  1. Of the sixteen cases reviewed, thirteen patients required a further unplanned surgery. Tragically, one of these patients subsequently died and this death is currently the subject of a serious investigation.
  2. Patients with minor complications who did not require further surgical procedure but who had superficial wound problems were treated with oral antibiotics and wound management undertaken in the Outpatients’ Department.
  3. Additionally, nine of the sixteen cases required removal of metalwork arising from mechanical complications of metalwork previously inserted during the spinal surgical procedures. It is understood that the latest external report to be undertaken by Mr. Nayagam will examine the reports already prepared and will also complete a risk assessment of the surgeries undertaken at CHI. It is understood that this report is due to be published by the end of 2023 however this will almost certainly be delayed.

Unfortunately, a growing number of children have been affected and suffered serious complications arising from these procedures having been carried out at both Temple Street Hospital, Crumlin Hospital and Cappagh Hospital.

It is important for families who have concerns regarding their child’s care to take up the relevant medical records and seek expert advice from a team of legal and medical experts to identify any failures or negligence during treatment.

If you would like to arrange a consultation or would like further information please get in touch with Deirdre Rafferty of our office via phone or email

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