The Scoliosis Advocacy Network has said it is disappointed that parents of children who have been fitted with a specific spinal rod support have not been notified ahead of an article in the Irish Times.

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine.

The Magec Rod, which is a titanium support for children with scoliosis, has been used in Ireland and is subject to a recall.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Scoliosis Advocacy Network spokesperson Claire Cahill said she does not know how many children may be affected but there are 31 Magec Rods in Ireland.

However not all of these may have been implanted.

She said a field safety notice was issued by the manufacturer on 13 February.

Ms Cahill said the group contacted the Minister for Health and Children's Health Ireland at Crumlin at the time.

She added that parents should have been informed by now if their child has had such a rod implanted.

She said that her group has complete faith in surgeons in Ireland and understands that defects can occur in these rods.

However, she added, when complications arise, parents must be informed quickly.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon with Children's Health Ireland Dr David Moore said they are in the final phase of reviewing all the scoliosis patients who have had a Magec Rod fitted.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke, Dr Moore said that only children who have had the rod fitted since March 2018 are included in the audit.

He said the number of Irish patients who have conditions that would have necessitated the fitting of a Magec Rod is very small.

So far, he said, there is no evidence of any problems in Irish patients.

"Two surgeons in Crumlin, who don't use this device, have looked at the x-rays of the affected cohort and we see no evidence, at all, of any of the problems that have been reported.

"So, to our knowledge, and we have reviewed all the latest x-rays of the patient group, no patient has a problem."

Faults have been found with one of the models - the Magec System Model X Rod.

Dr Moore explained that one small component in the rod has been identified as having a fault.

To his knowledge, he said, the number of rods worldwide that have shown faults is 18; and the chance of any patient who has had this rod inserted being affected is around one in 200.

Dr Moore said the Irish Times was asked yesterday to wait before publishing the story so a full study could be carried out and all patients fully informed. 

CHI at Crumlin is the only paediatric healthcare provider that uses the MAGEC System Model X Rods.

A helpline has been set up from 9am to 12pm Monday to Friday on 01-4096877.