Concerns About Abnormal Heart Rate Identified Almost Three Hours Before Delivery
A mum is calling for lessons to be learned after her daughter suffered a brain injury at birth after being starved of oxygen for around 22 minutes.
Taylor Dobbs was born in a very poor condition nearly three hours after concerns were raised about her abnormal heart rate during her mum’s labour at Sheffield’s Jessop Wing Maternity Unit.
Taylor, of Dinnington, has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, no independent mobility, is visually impaired and requires a feeding tube. She will require specialist care for the rest of her life.
Suzie, 37, instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care her daughter, now aged five, received.
Suzie, a full time mum and carer for Taylor, is now marking World Cerebral Palsy Day by calling for lessons to be learned. It comes after Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – which runs the Jessop Wing – admitted failings in the care it provided.
The Trust admitted that Taylor should have been born six minutes earlier and, if she had been, her injuries would have been less severe.
Expert Opinion“Sadly through our work we see the catastrophic consequences of brain injuries at birth, which leave children disabled for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, Taylor’s case is the latest example of this.
“We are working with the Trust to help ensure that Taylor can now access the specialist care and therapies that she will require to try and live as full and independent a life as possible.
“It is vital that lessons are also learned so that patient care is improved and others don’t have to experience the upset that Suzie and the rest of her family have.
“Every second counts when delivering babies in distress.” Georgina Houston - Senior Associate Solicitor
Suzie found out she was expecting her first child in early 2013. After an uneventful pregnancy, she was admitted to the Jessop Wing at about 8.30am on 31 October, 2013.
At 1.15pm the CTG recording Taylor’s heart rate was noted to be pathological. Suzie was transferred to the care of a Consultant Obstetrician. Deep decelerations in Taylor’s heart rate continued to be noted.
At around 3.40pm Taylor was recorded as having a very low heart rate of around 60-80 beats per minute for four minutes.
At 3.58pm it was decided to transfer Suzie to theatre pending the results of a third fetal blood test. The blood test came back as abnormal.
Taylor was delivered by caesarean section at 4.08pm and had to be resuscitated.
The Trust admitted that a decision to transfer Suzie for an emergency caesarean section should have been made by 3.49pm and she should have been delivered by 4.02pm
Suzie said: What should have been the happiest time of my life was awful.
“It remains difficult not to think about what happened and how life could have been so different had Taylor been delivered earlier.
“Despite that she is the most amazing little girl and I am blessed to have her in my life. I am so proud of everything she has been able to achieve in her life so far, particularly considering the difficult challenges she has also endured.
“I am still not fully sure what the future holds for Taylor but what is certain is that I will give her all the love and care I can.
“I just hope that by speaking out changes can be made to improve patient care.”
World Cerebral Palsy (CP) Day is on Sunday, 6 October. The aim of the awareness raising day is to ensure that children and adults with cerebral palsy have the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else in our society.
There are an estimated 30,000 children with cerebral palsy in the UK. It is often caused by injuries during birth and leaves those affected with varying conditions that affect muscle control and movement. They may also have learning difficulties, epilepsy and communication difficulties.