herald

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Mum tells inquest into baby's death of 'chaos' in delivery room

Rotunda Hospital.
Rotunda Hospital.

A midwife had to run to a staff room to trigger an emergency call following the birth of a baby boy at the Rotunda Hospital.

Baby Ethan Carson was born unresponsive at 36 weeks' gestation on September 11, 2015.

The baby was pronounced dead 15 minutes later, while his identical twin brother Andrew survived.

The infants' parents had picked out two baby grows for their boys as they waited to be called into theatre for a caesarean section, Dublin Coroner's Court heard.

"We were both terrified and excited in anticipation of meeting our boys," mum Barbara Carson said.

The first twin, Andrew, was born at 2.33pm. He did not cry immediately, his mother said.

Baby Ethan followed, but he was described by obstetrician Dr Maeve Eogan as "in a bad way".

"We were stunned and shocked," Mrs Carson said. "We realised quickly there was no paediatric doctor present in the theatre for Ethan. I was crying and kept asking where the doctor was.

"I could hear all the chaos and people running around. It was the most helpless moment of my life."

Trigger

Midwife Sarah Campbell said a nurse present was instructed to trigger the emergency "baby collapse bleep" immediately after baby Ethan's delivery.

"I saw the nurse pick up the theatre phone and then put it down and leave the room. I was notified after the case had ended that the phone was out of order," she said.

She began chest compressions on baby Ethan.

"I asked the paediatrician present for assistance, but twin one, Andrew, was also needing urgent attention," said Ms Campbell.

"When the nurse returned to theatre and said the baby bleep had not been put out, Ms Campbell left theatre and ran to the lobby to get help.

"There was at least one anaesthetic nurse and two midwives in the staff room. I requested immediate help."

Despite resuscitation efforts, baby Ethan was pronounced dead at 2.53pm. Baby Andrew was transferred to intensive care and made a full recovery.

"We are left struggling to understand how this tragedy happened and why did baby Ethan die," said Mrs Carson, who kept her baby with her until he was taken to the morgue.

The inquest continues tomorrow with evidence from obstetrician Dr Eogan and pathologist Dr Emma Doyle.

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