Crumlin hospital only provider of spinal rods at centre of recall

Review under way to establish if any of its scoliosis patients are affected by fault in rods

Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin is the only paediatric healthcare provider that uses a particular type of titanium spinal support rod which may now need to be removed from children with severe scoliosis.

A review is under way by Children's Health Ireland (CHI), the umbrella body for the State's main paediatric hospitals, to establish if any of the "small cohort" of scoliosis patients who received Magec System Model X rods since March 2018 are affected by a fault in the rods.

A dedicated telephone line has been established for parents and guardians who have queries in relation to their child’s scoliosis treatment or surgery at Crumlin hospital.

Earlier this month, the rods became the subject of a product recall notice when it was discovered some had experienced the separation of an end-cap in the mechanism, potentially exposing some of its internal components, including alloy debris. The rods, which are implanted in children as young as two years, are designed to support spinal growth and protect lung development.


“CHI at Crumlin, where these rods have been part of some patients’ treatment plan, has commenced a review in order to establish if any of the small cohort of scoliosis patients who received Magec System Model X rods since March 2018 were affected,” a statement from CHI on Wednesday said.

“This review is near completion. The parents/guardians of children who have had a Model X rod implanted since March 2018 will receive communication from their consultant orthopaedic surgeon within the next 24 hours. The surgeon will explain the issues to these families and deal with any of their understandable concerns.”

David Moore, consultant orthopaedic surgeon with CHI, said they were notified about the issue last week.

Mr Moore said they were reviewing the number of children fitted with the rods and “we will be able to confirm that number in the next 24 hours”.

"One small component in the rod has been identified on X-rays in a number of centres around the world. To my knowledge, the actual number of rods that have shown this in the world are 18 . . . The chance of any patient who has had this rod inserted being affected is about one in 200," he told RTÉ Radio 1 on Wednesday.

“We have only put in a very small number of these rods and the chances of any one of our patients being affected, as far as we know, therefore, is about one in 200.”

The dedicated telephone line for parents/guardians is (01) 409 6877 and is open Monday to Friday from 9am to noon.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times