Saturday 18 November 2017

Mother tells of heartache as 'perfect little man' died after emergency C-section

Tragic baby Eli Hunt. Photo: Provision
Tragic baby Eli Hunt. Photo: Provision
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A baby boy died from catastrophic brain damage after he was delivered by emergency Caesarean section more than six hours after a Waterford hospital admission form first indicated his mother had sepsis or a blood infection.

A Cork coroner's inquest into the death of Eli Hunt heard that Krystle Hunt (32), a first-time mother, was given an epidural anaesthetic despite protocols which advise against it where a woman may have sepsis.

Mrs Hunt told the inquest she was also taken off a CTG monitor for 54 minutes at one stage in University Hospital Waterford (UHW) - and underwent an emergency Caesarian section almost an hour-and-a-half after her waters were broken and Stage 3 meconium, or foetus waste, was discovered.

The presence of meconium can indicate an unborn baby is in distress in the womb.

Mrs Hunt broke down as she told Coroner Philip Comyn she was left heartbroken. She was admitted to UHW labour ward at around 11pm on October 17, 2016, when she was one week overdue.

Mrs Hunt told staff she had Strep B but was never informed tests indicated she had sepsis.

Eli's parents Krystle and Trevor Hunt. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Eli's parents Krystle and Trevor Hunt. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

"I would have been shouting from the roof tops to get my son out because he was not safe. I was led to believe it was a normal birth," she sobbed.

At 6.22am, she was rushed for an emergency C-section.

Her husband Trevor said a doctor later told them Mrs Hunt was "very nearly a goner".

Eli was then rushed to Cork University Hospital (CUH).

"I knew we would lose Eli," she said.

"We took his ventilator off...but our perfect little man fought with no help for nearly three days.

"During this time, we had to watch our baby turn blue and gasp for air - each time scared this would be it. Then he would pull out of it."

Eli died on October 31.

"I brought my son home in a tiny white coffin. This was not how I imagined bringing my first-born home."

UHW has since adopted new protocols following a review procedure.

A verdict of medical misadventure was returned.

Irish Independent

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