Couple Join Medical Negligence Lawyers In Calling For Lessons To Be Learned
A grieving couple are calling for lessons to be learned after the baby they spent nine years trying for died following failings in care.
Axwell Savcak was delivered in a poor condition by caesarean section at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary at around 1.50am on 24 April, 2021. His mum Vaida had been admitted to the hospital’s delivery suite at around 9.10am the previous day.
During his mum’s labour scans had shown a number of decelerations in Axwell’s heart rate. By 10.50pm the previous night a heart rate scan monitor became ‘pathological’, indicating Axwell could be in distress, a Hospital Trust admitted.
Following his delivery doctors tried to resuscitate Axwell but he died 50 minutes after birth. A post-mortem examination found he died from complications as a result of being starved of oxygen.
Medical negligence lawyers investigate Newcastle family's maternity care
Following his death Vaida and her husband Aleks, from Blakelaw, Newcastle, instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help investigate the family’s care under Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs RVI.
The Trust admitted a breach of duty and apologised. It said that a decision to move to a caesarean section could have been made by 9.30pm. If so Axwell would have been born by 10.45pm – nearly three hours before he was, the Trust added.
Vaida, and Aleks, aged 35 and 37 respectively, have now spoken for the first time about their devastating loss and joined their legal team in calling for lessons to be learned.
Campaign to improve maternity services
Irwin Mitchell represents hundreds of families nationally who have been affected by issues in maternity care. It is campaigning to improve maternity services across the country and contributed to the Health Committee’s Maternity Safety Call for Evidence.
Expert Opinion“After years of trying and disappointment Vaida and Aleks were absolutely overjoyed when they found out they were expecting Axwell. Understandably they are devastated by the events that unfolded and his tragic death.
“Following our investigations the Hospital Trust has admitted incredibly worrying issues in the care the family received.
“Axwell’s death is a stark reminder of the heartbreaking consequences families can be left to face because of care failings. While we welcome the Trust’s admission it’s now vital that lessons are learned to improve maternity safety for others.
“In the meantime we continue to support Vaida and Aleks to ensure they can receive the specialist support they require to try and come to terms with their ordeal the best they can.” Lindsay Cole - Associate
Medical negligence: Vaida and Aleks Savcak's story
Vaida, a production operator, and Aleks, a shift manager, had been trying for a baby for nine years.
On 22 April, 2021, Vaida attended the RVI after her waters broke. Following an assessment she was sent home and returned to hospital at around 11.40pm to be induced.
At around 9.10am on 23 April Vaida was moved to the delivery room. Scans of Axwell’s heart rate showed a temporary slowing, but were classed as normal.
Vaida and Axwell were monitored through the day during which suspicions were noted about the baby’s heart rate which then returned to normal.
Further decelerations were recorded just before 11pm but a heart rate scan was classed as normal. The scan was categorised as suspicious at around 1am on 24 April. Following discussions, Vaida elected for a caesarean section.
Axwell was delivered just before 1.50am
Newcastle Hospital Trust admits breach of duty
The Trust admitted a breach of duty in that staff failed to recognise Axwell’s heart rate scan was ‘pathological’ until around 1am. It admitted that Axwell’s heart rate scan became ‘pathological’ at 10.50pm.
The earliest time when a decision should have made to deliver Axwell by caesarean was 9.30pm. If a decision had been made at that time then Axwell would have been delivered by 10.45pm, the Trust acknowledged.
Couple's anguish over son's death
Vaida said: “We’d always wanted a family and had tried for years to realise our dream. During that period we faced so many emotions and disappointment, that’s why we were so happy when we found out we were expecting Axwell. After so much pain we thought he was our little miracle who would make our family complete.
“Trying to come to terms with what happened is something I don’t think we’ll both ever get over. What should have been the happiest day of our lives turned to total despair. When we lost Axwell our lives changed forever.
“We had so many plans for the future and all we wanted was to bring Axwell home with us. Having to leave hospital and him behind was heartbreaking.
“We know nothing can make up for what’s happened but we take some small comfort as to at least now having answers to the many questions we had. However, we want to let others going through the same emotions as us following the loss of a baby, that it’s not their fault. They don’t have to suffer alone as help and support available.”
Aleks added: “We went from the highest point of our lives to absolute agony when we were told Axwell had died. While the months have passed it remains difficult not to think of how Axwell would be developing and how our house would be filled with joy.
“Walking past what would have been his nursery is a daily reminder of the pain we’re going through.
“We’d give anything to turn back the clock and for things to be different but we know that’s not possible. All we can do now is share what happened to us to make other parents aware. By speaking out we just hope lessons can be learned as we wouldn’t wish what we’re going through on anyone.”