Friday 9 December 2016

Couple settle damages action against HSE for €98k after baby died six hours after birth

Tim Healy

Published 15/11/2016 | 17:11

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A COUPLE whose baby only lived for just over six hours after she was born in a hospital have settled High Court actions for damages against the HSE for €98,000.

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The court was told the HSE, in a letter, expressed regret to the parents and family of Eimear Arnold.

Her parents Teresa and Shane Arnold, of Raheen, Ballyneety, Limerick, sued over the death of their daughter in Limerick Regional Maternity Hospital on July 15, 2010.

Denis McCullough SC, for the family, said all actions before the court, including those by the parents for nervous shock, had been settled for a total of €98,000.

The settlement was without admission of liability.

It was claimed Eimear suffered severe blood loss and there was an alleged failure to detect the loss of blood in a timely manner.

It was further claimed the baby, after her birth, was raised above the level of the placenta in order to untangle her from the umbilical cord and that blood loss allegedly occurred in the course of the clamping of the umbilical cord.

It was also claimed there was an alleged failure to carry out the clamping of the cord in a proper effective and timely manner.

The claims were denied.

Mr McCullough told the court there was a full dispute in  he case.

He said Mrs Arnold, who at the time had three other children,  had been admitted on July 14, 2010, and was assessed by a student midwife. 

Eimear as  born at 00.26 on July 15 but, counsel said, she died six hours and 13 minutes later.

Counsel said there was a dispute between the sides over who was present when Eimear was born.

She was in good condition and well but, counsel said, it was contended the baby was  lifted so that the cord could be cut  and she later became floppy and collapsed.

The alleged lifting of the baby  allegedly caused a loss of blood, counsel said.

This was disputed by the other side, he said.

Approving the settlement Mr Justice Kevin Cross sympathised with the Arnolds on their loss.

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