Pregnant women at Arrowe Park were scanned by ultrasound machines that had not been serviced in years.
The Liverpool Echo has reported that thousands of pregnant women were scanned by ultrasound machines that had not been serviced in years.
The Echo have been informed by a whistleblower at Arrowe Park Hospital there has been an issue with three machines at the Maternity Department.
One of the ultrasound machines, used to check the development of foetuses and look for any potential complications, has not been serviced in 2 years and 10 months. The other two have not been serviced in 16 months.
The machines should be serviced every year by their manufacturers. Most hospital trusts try to service theirs every 6 months.
The devices are also legally required to undergo internal Quality Assurance checks, which have not been carried out.
Machines which were not regularly serviced produced poor-quality image, making it more difficult or even impossible to make accurate diagnosis.
Thousands of pregnant women, scanned by the maternity ultrasound equipment at Arrowe Park Hospital, unknowingly received poor quality scans.
General Electric (GE) Voulson E6 Ultrasound Machines, which represents two of the devices mentioned, were serviced 16 months late in October 2017.
Toshiba Aplio MX machine on the other hand, was serviced 2 years and 10 months late in June 2017.
Wirral University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Arrowe Park, claims that they received no reports of patients being affected by the issue.
The Chief Operating Officer of the trust, Anthony Middleton, has stated that “While the Trust has always had service plans in place for all the ultrasound equipment, we became aware of gaps in the servicing of the machines prior to 2017.” (Quoted from the Liverpool Echo)
The current, more robust, checking of the maintenance schedule means that all ultrasound machines have been serviced in the last 10 months.
This does not however, solve the issue of the pregnant woman who had their scans while the machines were past their due service.
While the trust claims that there had been no patient incidents associated with the ultrasound machines, we cannot be sure of that.
If you received an ultrasound scan at the Maternity Ward at Arrowe Park Hospital in the time when the machines have not been serviced and experienced any issues related to the scan, get in touch with us.
You could be eligible for compensation if the poor quality of the image affected yours or your baby’s health.