Heartbroken mother whose baby died at Kingston Hospital 'denied Caesarean section' (From Your Local Guardian)
Heartbroken mother whose baby died at Kingston Hospital 'denied Caesarean section'
7:00am Tuesday 3rd July 2012 in Kingston
A heartbroken mother, whose overdue baby girl died after a complicated child birth, was denied a Caesarean section three days before she went into labour, an inquest has heard.
Baby Tallula Braithwaite, who was 11 days overdue, died after a 36-minute resuscitation attempt by doctors at Kingston Hospital on October 3, 2010, West London Coroner’s Court heard.
Days before, mother Amanda Braithwaite, 34, of Revelstoke Road in Southfields, had pleaded with doctors for a Caesarean after she felt something was wrong and feared for her baby’s health.
Doctors declined her request under guidelines set by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), the national body that evaluates which treatments should be available for specific conditions.
The guidelines have since been changed to enable pregnant woman to undergo a Caesarean birth up to three weeks before their due date.
Coroner doctor Sean Cummings recorded a verdict of natural causes after hearing how the baby, assessed as low risk, may have died due to an amniotic fluid infection in the womb or even oxygen deprivation during childbirth, the inquest heard.
But speaking after the inquest Mrs Braithwaite said the outcome was not what she wanted and asked for the NHS to accept full responsibility.
She said: “No way does another pregnancy replace the baby we lost. We mourn and grieve for her and we always will.”
However, after the inquest Kingston Hospital said the new guidelines did not recommend women can have a Caesarean section “on demand”.
It said low-risk women wanting a Caesarean would be referred to a consultant for a second opinion to discuss risks.
A spokeswoman said: “In Ms Braithwaite’s case, no concerns were identified prior to labour therefore she was encouraged to have a vaginal birth, as remains our current practice.”
Mrs Braithwaite, who had a difficult pregnancy with her first child, was given a procedure on the membrane of her cervix three times – called a membrane sweep – in a bid to spur on the birth, but the hospital only recorded one.
During the inquest she asked whether this could have caused an infection in her womb.
Ex-Kingston Hospital employee Dr Ifat Ataullah, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, said: “Theoretically it could have [caused an infection] but studies I have read do not support this.”
Speaking after the inquest, an NHS spokesman said: “A membrane sweep encourages the onset of labour and is offered to women when they have reached their expected date of delivery. It is not unusual to offer more than one sweep.”
Summing up, Dr Cummings said: “Everything appeared to be well and normal with Tallula and Amanda at 40 weeks. It seems this infection came late in the day near to birth.
“I still do not know why Tallula died ultimately. I have to recall a verdict of natural causes. I am very, very sorry.”