herald

Monday 10 December 2018

Hospital sorry for 'deficit in care' at Evan's 'horrific' birth

Fiona Tuite and Ivan Murphy, parents of Evan Joseph Tuite
Fiona Tuite and Ivan Murphy, parents of Evan Joseph Tuite

A hospital has apologised in the High Court for the "deficit in care" given to a baby boy, who died hours after his skull was fractured during delivery.

The circumstances of Evan Joseph Tuite's delivery were "horrific" and the baby's skull was fractured in the instrumental delivery, counsel for Evan's parents told the court.

Evan died in his mother's arms just over 12 hours after he was born at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, in June 2012.

Pray

His heartbroken parents, Fiona Tuite and Ivan Murphy, said in a statement outside court that this should not have happened to Evan - or any other child.

"Every day I wish and pray we could have that day back again and I would have said stop," Mr Murphy said.

"If only Fiona had been sent for a section, our baby would have been here today. He would now be going to school and playing with friends."

There has not yet been a inquest into the death and Mr Murphy was publicly appealing for a date to be confirmed for the inquest.

Yesterday, the hospital apologised to Evan's family, from Rose Hall, Drogheda, as they settled actions against the HSE over his care at the time of his birth on June 14, 2012.

The apology stated the hospital offered its heartfelt sympathy and sincerely apologised for "the deficit in care" to the baby and his mother.

Liam Reidy SC, for Evan's family, told the court liability was denied until last year, when it was admitted by the HSE.

Ms Tuite was admitted on June 13, 2012, and a decision was made after 6am the next day to proceed to assisted vaginal delivery.

At 6.16am, the first of two forceps blades was applied to the baby's head and it is claimed two pulls were noted.

A vacuum device was applied and detached from the baby's scalp. The forceps were reapplied at 6.26am and there was another pull.

Evan was delivered in a poor condition at 6.29am and transferred to the special care baby unit.

On arrival, it was claimed that medical records indicated he had bruising to the earlobe and all over his skull, and had skin peeling over his scalp.

Evan required ventilation and was intubated. A CT scan showed a global hypoxic injury and evidence of haemorrhage.

A post-mortem stated the cause of death to be severe external and internal cranial and brain trauma due to a difficult delivery.

Failure

In the proceedings, it was claimed there was a failure to inform a consultant obstetrician of the decision to carry out the mid-cavity forceps delivery and a failure to proceed to a caesarean section.

It was further claimed there was a failure to challenge the actions of the junior doctor attempting to deliver the baby, and a failure to realise his actions were seen to deviate from normal practice - putting the mother and her baby at risk.

There was, it was claimed, a further failure to intervene in the delivery attempts, and to directly contact the consultant obstetrician on call.

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