Saturday 20 July 2019

Woman sues after alleged inappropriate interference during birth of her baby

High Court, Dublin
High Court, Dublin

A mother claims her waters were unnecessarily artificially broken by a mid-wife which led to her having to have an emergency caesarean section, the High Court heard.

Ciara Hamilton said she was "absolutely terrified" at Kerry General Hospital as she was rushed on her bed along corridors and in to a lift with a midwife holding up the head of her unborn baby.

It is claimed that an emergency situation - a cord prolapse - arose after her waters were artificially broken and she had to be rushed to an operating theatre.

At one stage she had to pull the midwife up on to the moving bed beside her after they were told they were not going fast enough.

Ms Hamilton (30), Brackhill, Castelmaine, Co Kerry, has sued the HSE over her care at Kerry General Hospital, Tralee, when she was having her second baby in 2011.

It is claimed that as a consequence of the caesarean section, she suffered and continues to suffer personal injuries loss and damage.

It is further claimed there was an alleged inappropriate interference in the progress of Ms Hamilton's labour by the performance of the artificial rupture of the membranes and allegedly causing the complication of cord prolapse to occur.

It is further claimed that the artificial rupture of the membranes set in train a chain of events which resulted in Ms Hamilton suffering personal injuries.

The claims are denied.

The court heard yesterday the mid wife in the case will give evidence that she discussed the artificial rupture of the membranes with Ms Hamilton.

The midwife will also say her rationale was a concern for the health of the child.

Mr Justice Sean Ryan was told at the opening of the case the issue to be decided was whether there was any justification to carry out the artificial rupture of the membranes.

Ms Hamilton's baby boy was born safe and well by caesarean section.

Ms Hamilton told the court  was admitted to Kerry General on June 9, 2011. She said a mid wife said she was going to check her  but she ruptured the membranes.

"She started to shout she had a cord prolapse and an alarm sounded . People descended on the room. They rushed me out, wheeling my bed."

She said when she passed her husband she did not know if she would see him again.

"It was absolutely terrifying. There is a significant distance to travel to the operating theatre.

"It was terrifying, I thought  one of us was going to die."

Ms Hamilton said at one stage the person at the front of the bed said they were not going fast enough and she had to pull the midwife on to the bed while the midwife continued to hold the baby's head up.

She said afterwards she had six to eight nightmares a night replaying the hospital scene around the birth.

The case continues.

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