News Courts

Saturday 30 August 2014

Two consultants apologise to couple for death of their baby boy

Published 21/01/2014 | 12:12

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21/1/2014
David and Roberta Dodd, of Sandyford, Dublin, speaking to the media on leaving court yesterday(Tues) after a High Court medical negligence action on behalf of their son, Senan who passed away after 2 days.Pic: Collins
David and Roberta Dodd, of Sandyford, Dublin
Dodds (David) Pictured on 21/1/14. Pictured are David and Roberta Dodds, Sandyford, Dublin at the Four Courts after settling in their case against the Mount Carmel hospital and the consultant obstetricians for mental distress and mental shock following the death of their son Senan two days after his birth. Pic: Courtpix
David and Roberta Dodds, Sandyford, Dublin at the Four Courts after settling in their case against the Mount Carmel hospital and the consultant obstetricians for mental distress and mental shock following the death of their son Senan two days after his birth. Pic: Courtpix
15/4/13 Dr Gerry Rafferty pictured at the Medical Council. Picture:Arthur Carron/Collins
15/4/13 Dr Gerry Rafferty pictured at the Medical Council. Picture:Arthur Carron/Collins

A PRIVATE maternity hospital and two consultant obstetricians have apologised in the High Court to the parents of a baby boy who died soon after his birth.

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Mount Carmel Hospital  and the consultant obstetricians also acknowledged fault in the management of Roberta Dodd's labour leading tot he death of her son, Senan.

The hospital in Churchtown, South Dublin, and the consultants sincerely apologised to Senan's parents David and Roberta Dodd for the tragic loss of their baby and the hurt and suffering that resulted for both of them from the care provided on that occasion.

The apology was read out in the High Court as the Dodds, from Ticknock Dale, Ticknock, Sandyford, Dublin settled their action for mental distress and nervous shock for an undisclosed sum.

The couple had sued the hospital and consultants Valerie Donnelly and Gerry Rafferty following the death of their baby Senan two days after he was born at the hospital on March 28,2008.

The court heard the couple had suffered profound psychological distress as a result of what had happened and their own case for the mental distress had been settled for an undisclosed sum.

The High Court was told that obstetricians, Mr Rafferty and Ms Donnelly, had failed to correctly interpret a foetal heart trace which showed the baby was in distress.

The trace showed the baby's heart rate was slowing at 3.50pm on the afternoon of 28 March, but he was not delivered until four hours later.

The court was told an expert witness would have given evidence that if Senan had been delivered within an hour or even an hour-and-a-half of the slow heart rate being detected he would have escaped injury.

The court heard the obstetricians continued to administer oxytocin - a drug to speed up contractions. It also heard there were no facilities in the hospital at the time to take a foetal blood sample.

Baby Senan was deprived of oxygen and suffered brain damage.

He died on 30 March in Holles Street Hospital.

In a statement afterwards, the baby's father David said Senan was a beautiful and healthy baby.

“The death of Senan was sadly avoidable," he said.

“He suffered a catastrophic brain injury arising from the management of his birth at Mount Carmel Hospital. He was transferred in the early hours of the morning to Holles Street Hospital to receive treatment.

“There he met his extended family, was named and was baptised,” he continued.

“He passed away two days later. He was much loved.

“We are grateful for the kind treatment Senan received by Dr Twomey in Holles Street."

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