Tuesday 16 January 2018

Women who are facing high-risk pregnancy should 'have more tests'

The Dublin Coroner's Court
The Dublin Coroner's Court

Louise Roseingrave

The parents of a baby girl who died two days after birth have welcomed a coroner's recommendation for more frequent examinations for women in high-risk pregnancy.

Denise and Cathal Farrell, from Nenagh, Co Tipperary, planned for a natural birth at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe, Co Galway, in September 2014.

However, Mrs Farrell's uterus ruptured and her baby died two days after birth.

Mrs Farrell was deemed an 'at risk labour' because she had given birth by caesarean section 14 months earlier.

At Dublin Coroner's Court, the coroner made a number of recommendations including further definition of the term 'in labour' as Mrs Farrell's delivery was so rapid. "A number of recommendations have been made and we hope they are implemented and no other family has to go through what we went through," Mr Farrell said after the inquest.

The Farrells are one of 16 families involved in an independent report into maternity services at Portiuncula.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane recorded a narrative verdict at the inquest and made recommendations to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

The three-day inquest heard Mrs Farrell arrived at the labour ward and was admitted at 1am on September 24, 2014, after her waters broke. She was not deemed to be in established labour, despite complaints of pain and occasional contractions and there was no constant monitoring of her condition as a result.

The onset of labour had been sudden and rapid and baby Sadhbh was born at 4.52am.

She was not breathing and was transferred to the Coombe Hospital in Dublin where she died. Pathologist Dr Colette Adida gave cause of death as multi-organ failure due to hypoxia caused by uterine rupture.

Irish Independent

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