Healthy baby Bridget makes Irish medical history
By Joe Leogue, Irish Indpendent
A HEALTHY baby girl has been born following revolutionary treatment that allows couples at risk of a specific inherited condition to avoid passing it on to their children. John Waterstone, consultant obstetrician at CUMH and medical director of Waterstone Clinic – who delivered Bridget – said she is the first arrival after pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) in Ireland. PGD allows couples at risk of a specific inherited condition to avoid passing it on to their children. Conception takes place through IVF treatment and embryos are tested for the condition before being transferred.
Dr Waterstone described the birth of Bridget to parents Lisa Cooke (24) and Patrick Mullane (33), from north Cork, as “an important milestone in Irish reproductive medicine”. Lisa and Patrick were at risk of having a baby with cystic fibrosis, the most common genetic disease in Ireland.
A spokesperson for the Waterstone Clinic said that PGD is the most technically challenging treatment in assisted reproduction and that the centre is one of only two Irish IVF units to have attempted it. Dr Xiao Zhang, head of research and development at Waterstone Clinic, said the embryos were frozen by means of ‘vitrification’ with Lisa returning later to have one embryo transferred into the uterus. “We are delighted by today’s success – it is the result of a lot of hard work over the past few years validating and perfecting the underlying laboratory processes,” Dr Zhang said.