Second Foetal Misdiagnosis Revealed


The Master of the Rotunda maternity hospital has said he is aware of one case in his hospital where a foetal abnormality was identified in a test before a subsequent test showed there was no abnormality. In this case however, the baby was not aborted. The chorionic villus sample rapid test indicated the presence of an abnormality, but since there was no indication of abnormality on the ultrasound, the hospital waited for the final results which showed no abnormality.


This means that a situation which arises in “only one in a thousand” tests has occurred at least twice in Ireland since the abortion law came into effect in January.


Professor Fergal Malone’s comments ame after it emerged that an independent review into the case at the National Maternity Hospital is planned. Speaking on the Today With Sean O’Rourke programme on RTÉ Radio 1, Prof Malone said it would be normal to consider “full treatment options” if a preliminary test confirmed an ultrasound indicating the presence of an anomaly. If, however, there were no ultrasound abnormalities, he said it would be recommended to wait two weeks for the full test results.


With regard to parents who wish to proceed with an abortion based on preliminary test results, Prof Malone said, “as long as they have been informed that there is about a 0.1% chance, one in a thousand chance, that their result could be a false positive, if a patient wants to proceed with termination and they do so in an informed basis in that regard, that is their right”.


Prof Malone said that the Rotunda has performed about 500 blood tests checking for foetal abnormality since January.

The Irish Times. May 17. RTÉ Radio 1. May 17.

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