Tuesday 25 October 2016

Inquest: Parents of a baby who died six days after birth say they are still waiting for HSE answers

Louise Roseingrave

Published 14/04/2016 | 21:41

Una and Kevin Kelly
Una and Kevin Kelly
Una and Kevin Kelly

The parents of a baby who died six days after birth said they are still waiting for answers from the HSE.

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Baby Kevin James Kelly was born by Cesaerean section after a failed forceps delivery at Midlands Regional Hospital on August 16 2014.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard that he died of brain damage due to lack of oxygen and this happened around the time of birth.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell returned a verdict of death by medical misadventure at an inquest into the baby’s death. Parents Una and Kevin Kelly said they feel vindicated by the outcome.

“However we are still waiting for the HSE to give us answers, we have been waiting since 2014. That continues to prolong our agony and our pain,” they said, speaking after the inquest.

Baby Kevin was the Kelly's first born. The couple have since had another child, a five month old son who they say has "saved them".

They are moving away from "a lot of sad memories" attached to their home at Kinnegad in Co Westmeath to Una Kelly’s native Co Mayo.

“Today we did our best for our son, we know his death could have been prevented but we feel vindicated by the findings of the inquest,” Una Kelly said.

She was admitted to Midlands Regional Hospital on August 13 2014 with pre-eclampsia. On August 16 labour was induced but a lack of progress was noted during an examination at 7.05pm. Locum Registrar Dr Michael Osasere made a decision to apply the Neville Barnes forceps which he said ‘applied comfortably and locked with ease’ but the procedure was abandoned at 7.12pm. Dr Osasere said he was not aware of a developing foetal bradycardia as the babies heart rate fell rapidly between 7.15 and 7.20pm.

The court heard that mother and baby were brought to theatre for a C-section as category 2 patients, but Dr Osasere said had he known of the babies falling heart rate he would have acted immediately to deliver the baby ‘within ten minutes.’ Midwife Agnes Gowning said she told Dr Osasere of the baby’s falling heart rate and asked him if he had heard her.

“I did not hear her say that,” he said. He said had he known, he would have immediately upgraded the delivery to a category 1 priority. “I didn’t know,” he said.

“That is very distressing. It still haunts me today. I kept thinking what I might have done to avoid that outcome. It’s been a nightmare,” Dr Osasere said.

The baby was transferred to Holles St seven hours after birth for cooling treatment but his condition did not change and he passed away on August 22 surrounded by his family.

The court heard conflicting evidence from the baby’s parents and medical staff that Dr Osasere had his foot on the bed as he attempted the forceps delivery. Dr Osasere denied this. A decision to deliver by C-section in theatre was made at 7.15pm and baby Kevin was born at 8.01pm

Noting the ‘significant time’ between the decision to go to theatre and delivery, the coroner returned a verdict of medical misadventure.

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