Sunday, 25 January 2009

Baby died because hospital had no one on night duty to do C-section

Here's an old incident fully reported a couple of weeks ago that we may have overlooked:
A baby boy died minutes after birth – because the hospital had no anaesthetist on duty for an emergency caesarian. Clare Russell, who went into labour with son Dylan 10 weeks early, arrived at the maternity unit in the middle of the night. She desperately needed a C-section to save her son, who was coming out feet first in the breech position. But the hospital had a cost-cutting policy of not having an anaesthetist during the night. Clare had to give birth naturally, and Dylan died when the umbilical cord got wrapped around him, starving him of blood and oxygen. Research has shown a C-section in those circumstances would almost certainly have saved Dylan...

Three days before Clare gave birth, her waters broke and she was taken to hospital by husband Tim, 32. As she was only at the 30-week stage, doctors kept her in for two days to monitor her and the baby – but then sent her home, despite her complaining of agonising back pain. Hours later, at 11.40pm, Clare went back to hospital in agony but a midwife left her alone and went to search for a doctor to examine her.

Clare, who has a son, Cade, 14, said: “They were so understaffed. The midwife gave us a heart monitor and told us to see if we could get a reading. I had no gas and air and my back was killing me.” After almost an hour, a senior doctor arrived but waited 20 minutes before phoning the on-call consultant Dr Gornhill at home. He ordered a clip to be placed on Dylan to check his heart rate. It showed the baby was distressed and by the time Dr Gornhill got to hospital at 1.10am Clare had almost given birth. Dylan died minutes after being born on November 29, 2003.

The hospital has admitted medical records of Dylan’s condition had been lost and notes from the day Clare’s waters broke were wrong. Dr Gornhill also admitted Clare should not have been sent home and the hospital admitted taking too long to alert the consultant about Clare’s condition.
Source: The Daily Mirror