Sunday 15 December 2019

Parents of baby who died hours after 'horrific' birth receive apology from hospital

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda and, inset, parents Ivan Murphy and Fiona Tuite Picture:Arthur Carron/Collins and CourtPix
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda and, inset, parents Ivan Murphy and Fiona Tuite Picture:Arthur Carron/Collins and CourtPix
Fiona Tuite, Drogheda and Ivan Murphy, Drogheda, the parents of baby Evan leaving the High Court in Dublin today after the settlement hearing (Pic: CourtPix.)

Tim Healy

A hospital has apologised in the High Court for the "deficit in care" to a baby boy who died hours after his skull was fractured during delivery.

The circumstances of Evan Joseph Tuite's delivery were "horrific" and in the instrumental delivery the baby’s skull was fractured, counsel for the baby's parents told the court.

Evan died in his mother's arms just over 12 hours after he was he was born  in 2012 in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.

His heartbroken parents, Fiona Tuite and Ivan Murphy, in a statement outside court, said this should not have happened to Evan or any other child.

"Every day I wish and pray we could have that day back again and I would have said stop," Mr Murphy said.

"If only Fiona had been sent for a section our baby would have been here today. He would now be going to school and playing with friends.

There had not been a inquest into the death yet and he was publicly appealing for a date to be confirmed for the inquest.

On Friday, the hospital apologised to Evan's family, from Rose Hall, Drogheda, as they settled actions against the HSE over his care at the time of his birth on June 14, 2012.

The apology stated  the hospital offered its heartfelt sympathy and sincerely apologised for "the deficit in care" to the baby and his mother.

Liam Reidy SC for Evan's family told the court liability was denied until last year when it was admitted by the HSE.

Ms Tuite was admitted on June 13, 2012 and a decision was made after 6am the next day to to proceed to assisted vaginal delivery.

At 6.16am, the first of two forceps blades were applied to the baby's head  and it is claimed two pulls were noted.

A vacuum device was applied and detached from the baby's scalp and the forceps at 6.26am were reapplied and there was another pull.

Evan was delivered in poor condition at 6.29am and transferred to the special care baby unit.

On arrival at that unit, it was claimed that medical records indicated the baby had bruising to the ear lobe and all over his skull and had skin peeling over his scalp.

Evan required ventilation and was intubated . A CT scan carried out showed a global hypoxic injury and evidence of hemorrhage .

An autopsy stated the cause of death to be severe external and internal cranial and brain trauma due to a difficult delivery.

In the proceedings, it  was claimed there was a failure to inform a consultant obstetrician of the decision to carry out the mid cavity forceps delivery and a failure to proceed to a Cesarean section.

It was further claimed there was a failure to challenge the actions of the junior doctor attempting to deliver the baby and a failure to realise his actions were seen to deviate from normal practice putting the mother and her baby at risk.

There was, it was claimed, a further failure to intervene in the delivery attempts and to directly contact the consultant obstetrician on call .

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