Newborn Dies After String Of Hospital Errors

March 22, 2017
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A Mother has spoken out about her heartbreak after her baby died. The two day old died with severe brain damage following a series of hospital slipups.

The baby, Cohen Mark Joseph Cross, was born following an emergency Caesarian at Birmingham Women’s Hospital after the Mother Kaleigh Elwell was admitted at 35 weeks with bleeding.

48 hours later, he died after suffering multi-organ failure and brain damage, caused by a lack of oxygen.

The hospital admitted failures which included staff shortages and delays in identifying the emergency.

I was reassured that I was in the best place, but obviously I wasn’t,” said Kaleigh. “It’s hard to come to terms with – he should be with me now. It’s heartbreaking. He should be sitting up and smiling.It was the worse thing that I have ever gone through.”

Kaleigh, who has 3 other kids, was admitted to hospital early on October 1 after notifying the hospital to say that she had been bleeding.

Kaleigh had already been identified as a high-risk patient, after previous early labours with all of her other children. Because of this, Kaleigh was told to come straight to the ward and was monitored for several hours.

Although she was experiencing bleeding and diarrhoea, medical staff were satisfied that she was not showing signs of pre-term labour.

By the evening I was shaking and had diarrhoea and some vomiting,” said Kaleigh.

Later I had a big bleed, which I know now was a placenta abruption, and was told to get back on the bed. It took a while to find a heartbeat.When they finally realised it was an emergency there was a big major rush. I remember saying to the midwife ‘please save my baby..But when he was born he was already severely brain damaged, and he wasn’t crying.He was like a sleeping baby.”

Cohen was born at 9.56pm on October 1.

Despite the emergency c-section, he was found to be floppy and did not open his eyes.

The family was informed of his poor prognosis and he passed away on October 3.

An official report says that staff had struggled to locate the foetal heart rate for several hours, which should actually have led to emergency procedures being triggered.

There were issues with a bleep system and other communication problems which meant there was a delay in the ultimate decision for Kaleigh to be transferred to delivery for an emergency C-section.

Kaleigh has since instructed lawyers to investigate to get further answers as to what went wrong that day.

She added: “The findings of the report into his birth are incredibly hard to read and it has left us with many questions regarding whether more should have been done to prevent his death.I was suffering from a placental abruption but I felt that the midwives ignored my pleas for help. I believe that Cohen would be alive today if there had not been a delay.No mother should ever have to face what I have been through and, while nothing can change what has happened, I hope that speaking out about it may ensure that no one else faces the same ordeal in the future.”

Following the incident, the hospital Trust said that had they had worked to improve training for clinical staff and were working to improve the bleep system.

A spokesperson for the Women’s Hospital said: “We would like to offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences to Kaleigh and her family following the tragic death of baby Cohen.We recognise that there were a number of failings in the care we provided upon admission to the ward and the staff involved are devastated about what happened.”

The spokesperson also noted that “Important lessons have been learned from this awful incident and we have already delivered enhanced training for clinical staff around better communication and timely escalation, to ensure that any concern about a mother or baby is acted on as quickly as possible.”

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