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Stillbirth was preventable, inquest told

THE stillbirth of an infant boy might have been prevented had an emergency Caesarean section been carried out earlier, an inquest was told yesterday.

Andrew James Niland was stillborn after he was delivered by emergency Caesarean section following a collision between two cars.

An expert told the inquest yesterday that while the stillbirth might have been prevented, earlier surgery did not guarantee a perfect outcome.

The infant's mother, Lorna Niland (37), of Agloragh, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, was almost 32 weeks pregnant in October 2009 when the car she was driving was involved in a head-on collision with another car near her home.


Mrs Niland, a mother of seven, was taken by ambulance to Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar complaining of abdominal pain. She had not felt foetal movements since the accident.

Later the same day, doctors decided to carry out an emergency caesarean section.

Professor Michael Turner, UCD professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, said he believed that if the caesarean section had been carried out earlier the stillbirth would have been prevented.

Prof Turner pointed out, however, that the earlier surgery did not guarantee a perfect outcome.

Cross-examined by Declan Buckley, counsel for the HSE and Mayo General Hospital, Prof Turner agreed that placental separation was an extremely difficult diagnosis to make. Following the hearing, the jury yesterday returned a verdict of misadventure.

Irish Independent