10 children report effects after drain-cleaning fluid found mixed with water in dental surgeries

By Patrick Flynn

Update 5.20pm:The HSE has confirmed that 10 patients have reported possible effects following the incident.

In five cases, when contacted by the HSE, the parents of five children confirmed that their child had mild symptoms and required no action.

Those parents were contacted a second time today to ask again if assistance was required but again, the HSE was told the children were fine and required no treatment or assistance.

Two children presented at a hospital Emergency Department while two others attended ShannonDoc, the out-of-hours doctor service.

One other child was brought to their own doctor for treatment.

The HSE has said: "We are continuing to maintain contact with the families and endeavouring to contact again some with whom messages were left."

Earlier:

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has been forced to close a dental clinic in Co Clare and is contacting the parents of 43 children following an incident that was detected yesterday.

The HSE has confirmed it is undertaking corrective action after drain cleaning fluid was apparently mixed with water instead of a dental product.

The Dental Clinic, at Bindon Street in Ennis, has six surgeries, five of which were in operation at the time the incident is believed to have occurred on Wednesday.

A HSE spokesman has said: "HSE Mid West Community Healthcare is currently in contact with the parents of up to 43 children to establish if they were affected by an apparent problem at the HSE Dental Clinic in Bindon St, Ennis, Co. Clare.

"The incident is believed to have occurred on Wednesday, October 4, and continued until it was detected on Thursday 5th.

"Early indications, yet to be confirmed, suggest that a drain cleaning product got mixed with the water used during treatment when normally the water would be mixed with an approved dental product," the HSE has said.

As a result of the incident, the surgeries are closed today for corrective action but the HSE says it hopes they will be back in operation by Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning.

HSE Mid West Chief Officer Bernard Gloster said: "This is so regrettable and unfortunate. I want to apologise for any concern or upset caused to the children and their families.

File photo.

"We are taking all of the necessary steps to ensure they are supported and have adequate information.

"We will be conducting a full review to establish all of the facts. I am grateful to all of our management staff and clinicians who worked very hard late into last night to respond to this incident," Mr Gloster added.


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