Tuesday 27 September 2016

Hospital apologises to couple for death of baby at birth

Tim Healy

Published 29/01/2016 | 02:30

Aidan and Elsie Franks leaving the High Court. Photo: Courtpix
Aidan and Elsie Franks leaving the High Court. Photo: Courtpix

A hospital has apologised in the High Court to a couple whose baby son died there nine years ago.

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Dylan Franks died in the operating theatre in the Midlands Regional, Portlaoise, not long after his birth on March 6, 2007.

His parents, Aidan and Elsie Franks, of Scart, Roscrea, Co Tipperary, settled their action against the HSE over the death of their baby and also for nervous shock.

The terms of the settlement are confidential. Liability was admitted in April 2014.

The court heard a huge distress for the parents was the the fact that, at his inquest, HSE witnesses stated the cause of his death was chronic utero placental insufficiency.

As a result, Dylan's mother thought she was responsible because she had smoked during her pregnancy.

In the apology to court, the hospital accepted responsibility for its failings.

"We wish to express our sincere apologies for the failings which caused Dylan's death," the apology stated.

"The hospital accepts responsibility for these failings which should not have happened".

It also "sincerely regrets the tragic consequences its failings have caused to you both and your family."

Oonagh McCrann SC, for the family, told Mr Justice Kevin Cross a number of opportunities were missed to deliver the baby. He should have been delivered earlier and members of the staff had indicated he was going to be delivered.

Counsel said it was only after the Prime Time programme on baby deaths at the Portlaoise hospital that the Franks began to ask questions.

They sought legal advice and commenced proceedings in February 2014.

The Franks had claimed there was a failure to follow through with the plan arrived at for the delivery of Dylan on February 10, 2007, and a failure to have regard to the clear evidence that Dylan was small. The pregnancy, it was claimed, had been allowed to continue until after term and there was a failure to deliver Dylan prior to March 4.

There was also an alleged failure to recognise foetal distress and an alleged failure to give a full and accurate account to Dylan's parents of what had happened.

Irish Independent

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