Extend 'Brain Cooling' treatment for babies on site in every maternity hospital in Ireland

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'Brain Cooling' (medical term - Therapeutic Hypothermia) is the treatment for newborn babies who have experienced reduced oxygen or blood supply either before, during or after birth and who subsequently show signs of brain damage. 'Brain Cooling' is the only procedure known to improve the brain damage and it is currently only available in 4 (3 in Dublin and 1 in Cork) out of the 19 maternity hospitals in Ireland. At present, an ambulance is dispatched from Dublin to collect the newborn baby (in Tralee for example) and the baby is transferred to Cork or Dublin for this life saving treatment. Transporting these extremely ill babies is wasting valuable time and it is not satisfactory that this treatment is not available on site in each maternity hospital. Timing is crucial here and this treatment needs to start within 6 hours of a babies birth. Every minute is significant in these cases.

Minister for Health Simon Harris and the H.S.E need to act now and make this treatment available on site in every maternity hospital in Ireland. Follow up research has shown that the treatment of 'Brain Cooling' reduces the rate of death, disability and cerebral palsy in newborns. We need to speak up and demand more from our maternity services. It can't be a post-code lottery. A hospital in Dublin or Cork is of little use to a mother and baby in Kerry or in Galway who needs this urgent care.

I started this petition because…
I am a mother of two young girls and I feel very strongly about improving the maternity services for women in Ireland. I first became aware of this treatment through my work as a solicitor. I have written to Minister for Health Simon Harris and the H.S.E to express my concern on this issue. I was informed by the H.S.E that the smaller hospitals do not have the staff, training or equipment to be able to administer 'Brain Cooling'. This is simply not good enough. 140 babies required 'Brain Cooling' during 2016/2017 and 40% of these babies were brought from regional hospitals to Dublin or Cork for treatment. These numbers are too high to ignore. Please support this extremely important issue and demand more from our maternity services. This could be your baby, your grandchild, niece, nephew and surely all babies deserve the best chance at life, irrespective of their location in Ireland?