News Courts

Tuesday 22 August 2017

'We lost our precious angel just two days after birth,' grieving mum tells inquest

Denise and Cathal Farrell, who lost baby Sadhbh at two days
Denise and Cathal Farrell, who lost baby Sadhbh at two days

Louise Roseingrave

A mother who was planning to deliver naturally following a C-section 14 months previously, lost her baby two days after birth.

Denise Farrell said she was unaware of the danger of uterine rupture "until it happened", an inquest into her baby's death heard.

Baby Sadhbh Farrell was born by emergency vacuum delivery on September 26, 2014, at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, Co Galway.

The baby was limp on arrival and had suffered a significant brain injury, the coroner's court heard.

Denise and Cathal Farrell had arrived at the hospital at 1am that morning and Mrs Farrell described feeling intense pain in the lead-up to delivery.

She'd had a C-section with her first child, Donagh, in July 2013.

"We were sent to a room beside the labour ward.

"My pain intensified," she said.

At one point the pain was so severe that she vomited and told her husband to bring the midwife.

"This was my first actual physical labour and I didn't know what to expect.

"The pain was unbearable," Mrs Farrell said.

She was given gas for the pain but still described her discomfort as "tremendous".

Midwife Jennifer Callanan monitored Mrs Farrell in the hours leading up to the birth.

Monitored

She checked contractions and monitored the baby's heart rate, the inquest heard.

Ms Callanan was aware of the patient's history and moved her into the labour ward to monitor her.

She said the planned delivery was a 'trial of labour' meaning the mother would be monitored for signs of uterine rupture.

"I had no concerns, there was nothing to alarm me about any of it," Ms Callanan said.

The sudden onset of labour was faster than any the midwife had ever experienced, the court heard.

Ms Callanan qualified as a midwife in 2010 and had begun working at Portiuncula Hospital in January 2014.

Baby Sadhbh was born at 4.52am but she was limp and not breathing.

She was intubated and ventilated and later transferred to the Coombe Hospital in Dublin' where she died two days later.

"On September 28 at 6.45pm we lost our precious angel, she was taken off life support, I will never forget that feeling," Mrs Farrell said.

Pain

The inquest heard that the placenta had not been delivered post-birth and Mrs Farrell was taken to theatre to have it removed.

"Dr (Ali) Hegazi pressed on my abdomen.

"While he applied pressure I felt the most horrendous pain," Mrs Farrell said.

The inquest heard from Consultant Pediatrician Dr Pauric Curran. He saw baby Sadhbh shortly after her birth and found her to be in a coma due to brain impairment.

Later, at the Coombe Hospital, the child developed multiple organ dysfunction and passed away.

The inquest was adjourned to hear evidence from further witnesses at a date to be decided.

Irish Independent

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