| 15.2°C Dublin

Tragic Jessica's death was not in vain, vows hospital after blunder

LITTLE Jessica died at just 16 months after she suffered massive brain damage as a result of being deprived of oxygen.

She had no quality of life during the short few months she survived.

The baby's mother Mihwa Seo, a nurse from South Korea, was sent home from the hospital on three successive days despite being in labour.

Ultrasound scans performed at the time showed Jessica was perfectly healthy two days before her birth.

Mihwa returned by appointment the following day but was told to go home.

Her cervix was dilated but she was told she had to wait until her waters broke.

The following day she was in agony and when her partner Mariusz Ratynski returned from work he was shocked to find her barely able to stand up after her waters broke.

Hope

"He called an ambulance and I was admitted to the ER. They checked the baby's vital signs and they were still the same. They kept me overnight in the delivery ward. I was having contractions but no one checked on me or my baby."

At the next check, medical personnel realised the baby was in serious distress and rushed Mihwa for an emergency Caesarean section. After the delivery, "the doctor told us there was no hope for her".

Jessica suffered almost 100pc brain damage.

Just days after her birth, Mihwa told the Herald: "I know what the end story is going to be, but I keep praying that somehow, things will change. She is all we ever wanted, we had been planning this baby for months and now all our plans have been shattered."

Jessica died in her mother's arms at their Dublin home just days before Christmas in 2008.

Following an apology in the High Court yesterday, Mr Justice John Quirke said Jessica "did not die in vain" and assured her devastated parents that "other children will be saved" because of this tragedy.

The maternity hospital said that as a consequence of Jessica's death "significant changes have been put in place to prevent a tragedy of this kind from happening again".

The hospital acknowledged that the care provided to Mihwa Seo around the time of the birth of her baby daughter Jessica "was not as it should have been and was not as Mihwa was entitled to expect".

Devastated

First-time mother Mihwa (39) was sent home on three successive days from the Rotunda despite being in labour. Mihwa and her Polish fiance were devastated when their previously healthy baby girl had to be put on a ventilator in the Intensive Care Unit because she was not breathing after an emergency C-section.

Instead of celebrating the birth of their daughter the grief-stricken pair had to keep a vigil beside her bedside as baby Jessica fought for life.

Mihwa was seen at the hospital on August 6, 2007 in the 40th week of her pregnancy but was told it was still to early to give birth.

Ultrasound scans performed at the time showed Jessica was perfectly healthy two days before her birth.

Yesterday the hospital acknowledged in the High Court the pain and suffering of the couple caring for their severely disabled daughter during her lifetime and the huge impact of her death. A spokesperson said "significant changes have been put in place to prevent a tragedy of this kind from happening again including an increase in medical and midwifery staff and improved facilities".

Mihwa and Mariusz said afterwards they accepted the hospital apology and it was important for future mothers that facilities at the Rotunda had been improved.


Privacy