Wednesday 19 June 2019

First-time mum whose baby son died felt pleas for help were 'brushed away'


Bereaved: Brenda and Michael Ryan, outside Dublin Coroners Court, had only four days with their infant son Danny. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Bereaved: Brenda and Michael Ryan, outside Dublin Coroners Court, had only four days with their infant son Danny. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Louise Roseingrave

The parents of a baby boy who died four days after birth say they take comfort from new guidelines introduced following his death.

Baby Danny Ryan was born to parents Brenda and Michael Ryan, from Allenstown, Kells, Co Meath, on October 16, 2017.

First-time mother Ms Ryan said she felt her pleas for help during the onset of labour were "brushed away".

"Danny was our beautiful, much longed-for son and our first grandchild on my side of the family. I was repeatedly told I could not be in labour, this resulted in being abandoned in a bath for over an hour.

"After a traumatic birth by emergency C-section, we got to spend four days with Danny.

"It was only in the last few hours that we got to hold and cuddle him in the way that he deserved," Ms Ryan said in a statement after the inquest.

She developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy and had scans at 28, 32 and 36 weeks.

"The baby was growing consistently, we didn't have any concern about baby's growth," said consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda, Dr Vineta Ciprike.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane noted there was no formal ultrasound performed between 36 weeks and the baby's birth at 40 weeks and nine days' gestation.

Dublin Coroner's Court heard Ms Ryan was induced in hospital in Drogheda on October 15 but this was unsuccessful. The next day a gel was applied in a bid to soften the cervix. Ms Ryan described feeling pains around 4pm and at 8.30pm she felt her waters had broken but she was confused and distressed.

Midwife Ciara Judge told the court she had no clinical concerns for Ms Ryan at this time.

"She was starting to have tightenings, I certainly didn't think she was in labour," the midwife said.

Ms Ryan was invited to have a bath to ease the pain.

"We remained in the bath for a long time," she said. "I was still in pain. The bath water went cold twice during this time."

After 11pm, the midwife returned and instructed Ms Ryan to return to the ward for examination.

At 11.40pm, a CTG revealed the baby's heartbeat was low and Ms Ryan was rushed to theatre for an emergency C-section.

Baby Danny was born at 11.56pm. He was not breathing.

He was transferred to the Rotunda Hospital where he died four days later on October 20.

Pathologist Dr Emma Doyle gave the cause of death as severe brain damage due to placental failure as a consequence of foetal vascular malperfusion.

Dr Doyle said an acute event occurred "in or around the day of the baby's delivery".

New guidelines have been introduced since baby Danny's death, specifying that in cases of mothers with gestational diabetes, induction must take place by 40 weeks plus four days, with the aim of delivery within two days of induction.

The coroner returned a narrative verdict.

Irish Independent

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