Wednesday 20 February 2019

'It was the most helpless moment of my life' - new mum's despair at 'chaos' as medics battled in vain to save twin baby

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Louise Roseingrave

A midwife had to run to a staff room to trigger an emergency call following the birth of a baby boy at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin.

Ethan Carson was born unresponsive at 36 weeks' gestation on September 11, 2015. He was pronounced dead 15 minutes later, while his identical twin brother Andrew survived.

The twins' parents had picked out two Babygros for them as they waited for the mother to be called into theatre for a Caesarean section, Dublin Coroner's Court heard.

"We were both terrified and excited in anticipation of meeting our boys," Barbara Carson said.

The first twin, Andrew, was born at 2.33pm. He did not cry immediately, his mother said. Ethan followed, but he was described by obstetrician Dr Maeve Eogan as being "in a bad way".

"We were stunned and shocked. We realised quickly there was no paediatric doctor present in the theatre for Ethan. I was crying and kept asking where was the doctor," Ms Carson said.

"I could hear all the chaos and people running around. It was the most helpless moment of my life."

Midwife Sarah Campbell said a nurse present was instructed to trigger the emergency 'baby collapse bleep' immediately after Ethan's delivery.

"I saw the nurse pick up the theatre two phone and then put it down and leave the room. I was notified after the case had ended that the phone was out of order," said Ms Campbell, who began chest compressions on Ethan.

"I asked the paediatrician present for assistance but twin one, Andrew, was also needing urgent attention."

When the nurse returned to theatre and said the baby bleep had not been put out, Ms Campbell ran to the lobby to get help.

"There was at least one anaesthetic nurse and two midwives there [in the staff room]. I requested immediate help," she said.

Despite resuscitation efforts, Ethan was pronounced dead at 2.53pm. Andrew was transferred to intensive care and went on to make a full recovery.

"We are left struggling to understand how this tragedy happened and why did baby Ethan die," said Ms Carson, who kept her baby with her until he was taken to the morgue.

The inquest continues with evidence from obstetrician Dr Eogan and pathologist Dr Emma Doyle.

Irish Independent

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