Baby died of oxygen deprivation

Doncaster Royal Infirmary
Doncaster Royal Infirmary

The teenage mother of a baby who died four days after his birth should have been advised to come into hospital when she called complaining of abdominal pains, an inquest heard.

Instead Emily Louise Reynolds, aged 16, who was categorised as having a ‘high risk’ pregnancy because her baby was breach was told the pains, that started the day she was booked in for a caesarean, were ‘normal’.

The court heard the burning and abdominal symptoms Miss Reynolds described to Doncaster Royal Infirmary midwife Catherine Blakey could have been the first indication of a placental abruption – a condition that can deprive a baby of oxygen.

Midwife Sharon Smithson involved in the serious incident investigation following Rhogan Lee James Dove’s death said: “Given the symptoms that Emily was describing on the phone she should have been invited in to hospital at that time.”

Simon Clark, neonatal consultant at the Jessop Wing in Sheffield, said Rhogan’s cause of death was Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy – a brain injury caused by oxygen deprivation to the brain directly linked to the placental abruption.

Lavleen Chadha, consultant paediatrician, said the placental abruption would have taken the blood supply away from the baby and lead to a lack of oxygen before Rhogan was born.

He said the umbilical chord, that was around Rhogan’s neck when he was born, could have also contributed to the oxygen deprivation.

The court heard a number of new practices had been introduced at Doncaster Royal Infirmary after a serious incident investigation found errors had occurred in Miss Reynolds care.

Miss Reynolds had started giving birth in a hospital toilet after a series of delays in getting her to the delivery suite just hours after she contacted the hospital complaining of pains.

Since the incident the court heard an emergency red phone had been installed in the delivery suite for receptionists to call if a pregnant woman turned up at hospital unannounced in distress or in labour.

The court when a receptionist contacted the phone a midwife was deployed to reception and monthly drills were taking place to test the procedure.

Medics spent around 40 minutes giving Rhogan CPR after his birth. He was transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital but died four days later on March 28.

The inquest continues.