Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Inquest: death of baby occurred after difficult birth

These stories are always heart-wrenching, and one of the reasons I post them here on my blog (aside from highlighting that planned vaginal delivery is entirely unpredictable and often mismanaged) is to demonstrate that when a baby dies or is injured, it's not just a 'number' in a set of 'mortality data'.

It's the child of a real-life mother and father. The mother carried the baby inside her for nine long months, looking forward to the day she and her husband would meet their son or daughter, only to experience a personal loss and devastation only barely imaginable by anyone else.

In this case, Georgina O'Halloran writes in The Irish Times how:
"The poor condition at birth of a baby boy who died as a result of brain damage due to lack of oxygen “would be best explained” by “issues” which occurred during labour and delivery...

Baby Nathan Molyneaux of Columbas Place, Tullamore, Co Offaly, was born at Portlaoise General Hospital on July 27th, 2008 in poor condition. He never recovered and died seven days later of brain damage due to lack of oxygen to the brain, known as hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy, at the Coombe hospital, Dublin on August 2nd, 2008. The death was not reported to the coroner’s office at the time and no postmortem was carried out...

Dublin City Coroner’s Court heard there were variable decelerations - temporary drops in the foetal heart rate - during the first stage of labour, with a prolonged second stage and a difficult delivery with a number of attempts... There was no evidence of any pre-existing abnormality of the brain or heart to explain the baby’s condition at birth..."

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