Baby "Killed By Forceps" - Coroner

Doctor misjudged baby's position


The incorrect use of forceps caused a baby twin to die from severe head injuries minutes after he was born, an inquest has heard.

A doctor at Sheffield's Jessop maternity unit had misjudged the baby's position, childcare expert James Walker told the inquest, after a doctor misjudged his position and applied too much force to one side of his head.

Benjamin Steedman, whose twin Mia was born without difficulties to parents Helen and Darren, suffered torn brain tissue, bleeding to the brain and a skull fracture when Dr Amrita Datta fitted the forceps incorrectly.

Professor Walker said the mistake was not negligence, but admitted to being concerned that Dr Datta had not recorded it in her notes after the birth last October.

Coroner Christopher Dorries recorded a narrative verdict, telling the Sheffield inquest: "Benjamin died within minutes of birth."

Dr Datta believed the baby's head was turned to face the floor, the optimum position for delivery, but in fact it was to the side and askew.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Suzanne Monroe from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “Having dealt with a very similar case last year it is tragic to see that this sort of mistake continues to happen. It is difficult to comment on why the Dr misjudged the baby’s position. I am not in possession of all the facts in this particular case but generally an experienced Dr would be able to correctly identify the position of the baby.”