Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Newborn baby 'had to be resuscitated after midwife left mother alone in birthing pool'

A newborn baby had to be resuscitated after a bungling midwife left the mother in a birthing pool during advanced labour, a misconduct hearing was told today. Midwife Lourde Backhurst waited for up to 15 minutes after the baby's head appeared before summoning help - and by then it was blue, it is alleged.

Clare Strickland, for the NMC, said a senior midwife at the hospital's birthing pool had to tell Backhurst that a baby's head had turned blue in October 2006. Ms Strickland said the mother, referred to as 'Ms C', was in advanced labour and the baby's head was clearly visible under the water but Backhurst waited for up to 15 minutes before calling for help. By that time the tot's shoulder had got stuck and its head was 'a purple and blue colour', the NMC heard.

Awful, yes. But what is staggering about this story is why she was allowed to supervise any birth at all in October 2006.

In December 2005, Backhurst left student midwife Kelly McMillan to deliver a baby while she went on her break, the panel heard. She then allowed the student to untangle the umbilical cord from the baby's neck and only stepped in when the mother swore at the midwife to help.

Then ...

In June 2006, Backhurst allegedly ignored signs that a birth was imminent and left a mother who had soiled herself. By the time the midwife returned, a supervisor was helping to deliver the baby and lift it clear of its mother's bodily waste, the Council heard.

How many cock-ups does it take before a NHS administrator rubs their chin, and thinks, you know what? I don't think she's very good at this job.

Backhurst, of Bedford, is not attending but denies misconduct.

Beg pardon?

Source: The Times Online


Mark Wadsworth said...

How many? Three ... that we know of.

Henry North London said...

Help Help Madwives driving me bonkers

Midwives are the spawn of satan with their "independent practitioner" status

Whats the difference between a rottweiler and a midwife?

A child is safer with a rottweiler than a trained midwife