Sunday 22 October 2017

Midwife denies saying woman was 'faking' pain before death

Bimbo Onanuga died after being induced to deliver a stillborn baby
Bimbo Onanuga died after being induced to deliver a stillborn baby
Abiola Adesina at the Coroner's Court.

Gareth Naughton

THE partner of a woman who died after being induced to deliver a stillborn baby claims a midwife said she was "faking" the pain.

Abiola Adesina told Dublin Coroner's Court that his partner, Bimbo Onanuga, was "rolling" around in pain and claimed that the midwife ignored his pleas for help.

Ms Onanuga, a mother of one who lived in Finglas, Dublin, later died in the intensive-care unit of the Mater Hospital.

However, midwife Sheila Lynch denied that she had ever used the word "faking".

The coroner had previously heard that 32-year-old Nigerian-born Ms Onanuga's uterus had ruptured. But this was not discovered until an emergency caesarean section was carried out after she went into cardiac arrest at the Rotunda Hospital on March 4, 2010.

At the resumption of the inquest, Mr Adesina told the court it was a "considerable blow" when they were told that their baby had died in the womb.

The inquest had previously heard that Ms Onanuga had been medically induced and discharged before returning to hospital two days later complaining of abdominal pain.

The following morning she was given her first dose of misoprostol, an ulcer medication commonly used for labour induction.

Mr Adesina claimed that his partner began experiencing "severe pain" after the drug had been administered. She was internally examined by a doctor who told him that Ms Onanuga was not yet dilated.

He told the doctor that "the pain seemed to be too much" but the medic was not worried, he said.

The court heard that Ms Onanuga was given pain relief at around 1.30pm.

Student midwife Michael O'Brien said that she told him the pain was a four out of 10 before he administered the relief. She was also subsequently given gas.

SCREAMED

However, Mr Adesina said that she was struggling to breathe and rolling back and forwards in the bed. He claimed that he told the midwife "many times" she had to do something and get a doctor.

"I got very angry at being ignored and I shouted and screamed at her. She said to me 'If Bimbo had contractions the pain would come and then would go and she would not be in pain all the time. She is faking it'," he said.

Mr Adesina also claimed that Master of the Rotunda, Dr Sam Coulter-Smith, had told him his partner's death was "due to a series of mistakes". However, senior counsel representing the hospital, Emily Egan, said that Dr Coulter-Smith does not accept that he said this.

Midwife Ms Lynch denied ever using the word "faking" to Mr Adesina. She said that she could not fully recall the incident but that she was "100pc clear" that she had not said it.

She would "very much doubt" that she would disbelieve a patient who said that she was in pain or uncomfortable, she said.

She added that she did not remember being asked to get further assistance a number of times.

When Ms Onanuga's condition deteriorated and her blood pressure could not be read at around 3pm, Ms Lynch ran to summon medical assistance, the court heard. Extensive resuscitation attempts followed.

The inquest continues today.

Irish Independent

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