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Sunday 22 October 2017

Aibha (6) died just four days after hospital visit

A six-year-old girl was referred to Galway University Hospital (GUH) a number of times over a five-year period with vomiting and dehydration but no underlying cause was established, an inquest heard.

Aibha Conroy from Gowla, Cashel, Co Galway died at Temple Street Hospital 
on December 14, 2011, four days after she was admitted 
to GUH with a history of vomiting, headache and a very 
low blood sugar reading.

Dublin Coroner's Court has yet to hear post-mortem evidence on the cause of her death.

However, coroner Dr Brian Farrell said that it is his understanding that there "may be a challenge" to the cause given by the pathologist.

The first day of the inquest heard from Aibha's GP, Dr Michael Casey, that she had a number of referrals to GUH from 2006 onwards with similar symptoms including vomiting and dehydration.

A pattern was emerging, he said, that minor illnesses that children pick up generally were "major" events for Aibha and that the periods between episodes were getting shorter.

condition

Dr Casey agreed that despite all the admissions, they were no closer to knowing what was "at play" in Aibha's condition.

The court heard that he received a letter from GUH paediatrician Dr Edina Moylett following an August 22, 2011, admission for an ongoing infection saying that she had concerns there may be something "underlying" the symptoms.

Solicitor for the family, Damien Tansey, told the court that "there is going to be controversy" in relation to the circumstances of Aibha's discharge from GUH following this admission. Aibha's mother Kathleen Conroy will say that Dr Moylett told her that she "should be referred to Temple Street for further and extensive blood tests", he said.

Dr Casey referred Aibha for her final admission to GUH on December 10, 2011. On examination her temperature was normal but her blood sugar level was 1.9 millimoles. Dr Casey said that it was "amazing" and "disconcerting" that she was able to tolerate this level and it made her referral "more urgent".

The inquest was adjourned for further hearing on November 18.

hnews@herald.ie

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