PREGNANT women in Cork are facing delays when getting scans to detect potential defects in their unborn children.
Women seeking anomaly scans - a mid-pregnancy scan - are facing significant delays and cancelled appointments at Cork University Maternity Hospital.
The Hospital began offering the service earlier this year but there have been problems providing an efficient service, with women reporting they may not get their scan until they are 27 weeks pregnant.
The 2011 guideline from the International Society for Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ISUOG) noted that “most countries offer at least one mid-trimester scan as part of standard prenatal care,” often carried out between 18 and 22 weeks of gestation.
Clinical Director of CUMH, Professor John Higgins, accepted there have been difficulties with the process but said it would “smooth out” in the new year.
“We want to thank our patients for their understanding as this reorganisation has meant the juggling of appointments times and dates," he said.
“The good news is that as all new patients are now being booked and we are able to electronically order their anomaly scan through the Electronic Chart."
“This will smooth out the allocation of appointments as we go through 2019.”
A Cork woman, speaking anonymously, told the Evening Echo that her appointment was delayed until her 27th week of pregnancy.
“Nineteen mums and a lady who is 18 weeks now have been given no date and hospital told her she may not get one,” she said.
“Another girl was booked for December 24 and they’ve cancelled hers.”
Professor of Obstetrics at UCC and Consultant Obstetrician at Cork University Maternity Hospital Louise Kenny told an Oireachtas Health Committee last year that anomaly scans were crucial for women, citing examples of babies being born with cardiac defects outside paediatric surgery centres who then require emergency transfer to Dublin immediately after birth.