Investigation underway as children treated with drain cleaner instead of dental solution in County Clare

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An investigation has been launched after children were treated with drain cleaning fluid instead of dental solution at a clinic in County Clare.

More than 40 children were affected by the blunder, which occurred at a HSE-run practice in Ennis. It has emerged that 43 youngsters received treatment on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th October before the error was spotted. Children who were unwittingly exposed to the cleaning fluid suffered side-effects include burning sensations and blisters in the mouth.

It is thought that drain cleaning solution was added to water and used during dental procedures rather than dental fluid. Although the fluid was highly diluted, more than 40 children suffered unpleasant symptoms and an investigation is now underway to see how the mix-up occurred.

A spokesperson for the HSE said that it appears that the wrong fluid was added to the rinsing solution, which is given to patients during and after dental procedures. The majority of the 43 families involved in the incident have been contacted by telephone and those who were not contactable have been sent a letter in the mail. Parents of children who have displayed symptoms have been advised to contact their GP if symptoms persist. The HSE has stressed that everything possible is being done to establish how the error occurred and identify measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Two children were taken to hospital after treatment, but were not admitted.

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