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Stillborn baby inquest hears doctor apologise

a pregnant woman whose baby died the day after she was sent home from the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise, should have been admitted for further observation and steroid treatment, the doctor who treated her has now accepted.

Amy Delahunt from Borrisoleigh Co Tipperary, wept as she recounted the events leading up to the stillborn birth of her daughter Mary Kate Kelly at the Maternity Hospital in Limerick, on May 28 2013.

At an inquest into the baby's death, a consultant at the hospital in Portlaoise also agreed under cross examination that Ms Delahunt should never have been sent away.

reduced

While she was a patient in Limerick, Ms Delahunt presented to the Midland Regional Hospital with concerns over reduced foetal movement as it was the closest hospital to her place of work.

The Coroners Court heard Mary Kate's parents learned of four previous infant deaths at the same hospital in Portlaoise after watching a Prime Time investigation programme.

The other baby deaths had a number of themes in common with Mary Kate's case, including the CTG trace, and the failure to refer the mother to a consultant.

On May 21, 2013, Ms Delahunt went to the Maternity Assessment Unit (MAU) in Portlaoise hospital as she was worried about her baby.

She was monitored on CTG, a cardio monitor which gives a trace or graph of the baby's foetal movements, and an ultrasound was carried out.

Registered Midwife Sally Hanford told the inquest how she aired her concerns to the on-call Registrar Dr Chuck Ugezu about three unprovoked decelerations in the foetal heart rate.

Dr Ugezu said it was unnecessary to repeat the trace which he said was normal at 34 weeks gestation and he performed an ultrasound scan.

Ms Hanford said she told Dr Ugezu he could not stand over the trace and they needed to contact consultant obstetrician Dr Miriam Doyle who was on duty to review the trace.

advice

When the midwife returned, to the MAU, Ms Delahunt had been discharged and told to keep a check of foetal movements overnight, ahead of her scheduled anti-natal appointment in Limerick the following morning.

In his evidence, Dr Chuck Ugezu apologised if he ever suggested that Ms Delahunt left the hospital against medical advice and for any upset he caused the couple.

He also acknowledged he should have insisted she be admitted on the day she presented at Portlaoise, for further observations and for steroid injections and further CTG traces.

The inquest continues today.

hnews@herald.ie


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