Wednesday 20 September 2017

Father forced to carry his dead baby on lap in taxi, inquest told

Roisin and Mark Molloy leaving Portlaoise County Council buildings in Portlaoise, Co Laois, at the inquest in to their son's death. Photo: James Flynn/APX
Roisin and Mark Molloy leaving Portlaoise County Council buildings in Portlaoise, Co Laois, at the inquest in to their son's death. Photo: James Flynn/APX

Eoghan MacConnell

A GRIEF-stricken mother asked jurors to look at a picture of her dead baby boy and told how his death was referred to as "an incident".

Mother-of-four Roisin Molloy (40) and her husband Mark (42), who are from Co Offaly, lost their fifth son Mark just 22 minutes after he was born at the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise on January 24, 2012.

Mrs Molloy produced a picture of Mark and told an inquest in Portlaoise that it "humanises it".

"When Mark died, our experience was Mark was called 'the incident'," she said. "He wasn't 'an incident', he was my fifth boy. He was a beautiful, beautiful little fellow."

On the first day of the inquest, the Coroner's Court heard Mr Molloy had to travel by taxi with the baby on his lap for the post-mortem operation.

He said he was not allowed carry the baby in his own car, driven by his brother, so he went in the back of a taxi holding his son's body in his arms.

On the second day of the inquest into Mark's death, senior midwife Mary Kelly reappeared to give evidence about the morning of January 24.

On examining the CTG traces – a monitor of the baby's heart and mother's contractions – from the morning of his death, she admitted "in hindsight", she would have called a doctor 10 minutes earlier then she had.

Barrister David Holland quizzed Ms Kelly about a "massive" late deceleration that occurred in the trace at 6.32am.

Ms Kelly suggested the epidural or artificially breaking the waters might be responsible. When it was put to her that the water wasn't broken until 6.40am she suggested there could be a discrepancy in time-keeping. She claimed notes could be off by three or four minutes due to the use of personal timepieces, the clock and the CTG machine.

Mr Holland said that it would be "incredible or incompetent for a hospital to allow an eight- minute difference in timekeeping."

Mrs Molloy said she had been due in hospital at 8am for an induced birth, but went into labour at around 4am and arrived just before 5am.

When the baby had not arrived at 7.20am, a midwife called a doctor. According to Mr Holland, he arrived around 30 minutes later and decided to drain her bladder, up the Syntocinon dose and examine her again in 15 minutes.

Baby Mark was born by Caesarean section at 9.31am. However, Mark's heart was very faint and efforts to resuscitate him failed. Some 22 minutes after the birth, he was declared dead.

"It was like the ceiling falling in on me," Mrs Molloy said.

Mrs Molloy said it was important that an investigation is carried out into Mark's death as he has no voice of his own to request one.

Pathologist Dr Peter Keleghan said there were no signs of abnormality with the baby. He concluded the child had died as a result of acute anoxia (oxygen deprivation) but he couldn't provide a definite cause.

The inquest is due to continue today in Portlaoise.

Irish Independent

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