Catalogue of errors led to baby's death

22 August 2014

Northern Health and Social Care Trust accept coroner's findings that a catalogue of errors led to baby's death. Worthingtons Solicitors review

 A recent inquest in relation to the death of a new born baby girl at the Causeway Hospital in July 2012 has concluded that a ‘catalogue of failures’ in the care afforded to her mother Tracy Hook led to her death.

Alexis Hook was born by emergency Caesarean section at 1.42am on 4 July 2012, two weeks after her due date, but she developed breathing problems and passed away shortly after birth. During the inquest the Northern Health and Social Care Trust accepted that there were five factors which caused Alexis to die from meconium inhalation prior to birth. It was accepted that the labour ward was understaffed and extremely busy on the night Alexis was born which resulted in a lack of continuity of midwife care while Mrs Hook was in labour. It was further accepted that the midwives failed to identify the onset of labour, that a doctor on duty misinterpreted the foetal heart rate and failed to refer the case to a consultant obstetrician when the baby showed signs of distress. It was ultimately accepted by the Coroner that if Alexis had been delivered just 42 minutes earlier, “resuscitation leading to survival should have been possible”.

The Trust accepted the findings of the coroner and conceded that there were shortcomings and failings in the care provided to Mrs Hook prior to Alexis’ birth. The Trust also advised that an internal investigation took place and action had been taken immediately after Alexis’ death to strengthen procedures.

If you believe that a hospital or other care provider in Northern Ireland has been negligent in providing advice or medical treatment to you or a member of your family, which has resulted in injury, and which could have been avoided, Worthingtons Solicitors have an experienced team of litigators who specialise in Medical negligence. The Medical Negligence Team will gladly provide advice on all aspects of medical negligence claims in Northern Ireland. Contact Claire McDaid at our Belfast office on (028 9043 4015) or Nikki McConnell at our Newtownards office on (028 9181 1538) for advice and guidance on this process.

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