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Maternity staff errors cause baby death

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

A hospital trust has admitted to errors that resulted in the death of a newborn baby earlier this year. The baby girl died only two days after being born, with an investigation finding that she would have survived had her mother been given a caesarean section sooner. Delilah Hubbard died on 9 March in Leicester Royal Infirmary’s neonatal unit.

The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust admitted to a number of failings that led to the death of the baby. The mother, 25-year-old Clara Bassford, had been classed as a ‘high-risk’ pregnancy because of the complications with her two previous children, and she also suffers with ulcerative colitis – a condition that can lead to pregnancy complications.

Despite her waters breaking during a routine monitoring appointment on 6 March at the Leicester General Hospital, she was admitted to a ward and kept there overnight. The next morning Ms Bassford realised that she had bled and Delilah was not moving.

Heart rate monitor showed serious distress

She immediately informed midwives of the bleed, but they failed to carry out an emergency examination. Delilah’s heart rate was not accurately recorded for a further hour and forty minutes because the heart monitor was not positioned correctly. Eventually, when it was positioned properly, her heart rate showed her to be in serious distress. It then took a further few hours for her to be delivered.

After delivery, Delilah was transferred to Leicester Royal Infirmary, where she died two days later. The trust offered the family its sincerest apologies and admitted that a number of failings had caused her death, including the fact that a caesarean section could have saved her life.

Joan Morrissey, midwifery matron at University of Leicester NHS Trust, said: “In light of the mistakes that were made in the way Delilah’s birth was managed we know that an apology can never undo what happened.

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