Hospital Trust Admits Breach Of Duty After Girl Dies 55 Minutes After Delivery
A Basildon couple are calling for lessons to be learned after the baby they spent five years trying to conceive died shortly after birth following failings in care.
Couple fall pregnant after five years of trying
Laura Timochina, 30, had a history of polycystic ovary syndrome. She and her husband Aurelijus, 40, had been trying to conceive for five years when she fell pregnant in spring 2017.
Laura attended all her antenatal assessments and ultrasound scans. At 26 weeks pregnant, on 7 November 2017, she attended maternity triage at Queen’s Hospital in Romford with abdominal pain. She underwent a series of tests and was found to be in the early stages of labour.
Baby Auguste was born early the following morning. She had to be resuscitated. Medics spent 14 minutes trying to place her on a ventilator. She died 55 minutes after birth.
Medical negligence lawyers investigate maternity care after baby dies
Following their daughter’s death in November 2017, Laura, a former store assistant, and Aurelijus, a company director, instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help investigate their daughter’s care under the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Queen’s Hospital.
Through NHS Resolution, the Trust admitted a breach of duty in that the standard of care provided fell below that to which the family were entitled. The Trust also expressed regret for the failings in care, which were identified as part of a Serious Incident Report it commissioned. These included failures to transfer Laura to an appropriate tertiary centre and to adhere to the resuscitation guidelines for premature babies.
The report also stated that “there is some evidence that babies born extremely preterm have higher chances of survival when born in tertiary unit.” As a result, the Trust admitted it was “clear” that Laura had been “deprived of the opportunity of a better outcome.”
Lawyers secure settlement after Trust admits breach of duty
The couple’s legal team have now secured an undisclosed settlement from the Trust to help provide the couple with the specialist support they require as they continue to try to come to terms with what happened. They’ve now spoken for the first time about their devastating loss and join their lawyers in calling for lessons to be learned.
Expert Opinion“Laura and Aurelijus spent five years trying for a baby and were understandably overjoyed when they found out they were expecting Auguste. To then lose her so suddenly and tragically has left them devastated.
The Hospital Trust has admitted worrying issues in the care provided to Auguste. While nothing can make up for their loss we’re pleased to have been able to secure a settlement which will ensure Laura and Aurelijus can access the specialist support they need to try and overcome their ordeal.
While we welcome the Trust’s admission, it’s also vital that lessons are learned to improve maternity safety for others.”
Marianne Stapleton, Medical Negligence Solicitor
Since Auguste’s death, Laura has suffered psychologically and has undergone counselling.
Laura speaks out
She said: “We’d been trying for a baby for years so we were overjoyed when we found out we were expecting Auguste.
“We spent the next few months getting the nursery sorted and making so many plans; we felt like we were finally getting the family we had dreamed of.
“The day that I went into hospital, I knew it was far too early for Auguste to be coming but I trusted that the doctors would take care of us both.
“When she was born, I heard her cry and at that point I thought everything would be okay. But sadly it wasn’t.
“I’ll never forget the moment we were told she had died and trying to come to terms with it has been incredibly difficult. It’s more than four years on, but it still feels as raw as it did back then. Having to leave the hospital without her is something that we’ll never get over.
“Since then, I’ve struggled with depression and even have flashbacks and nightmares of Auguste being resuscitated. I’ve also left work to focus on having fertility treatment as there is nothing I want more than to have a baby
“We know nothing will ever make up for what happened that day, but we’re grateful to have some answers as we spent so long wondering if we had done something wrong. By sharing our story, we also want others to know they don’t have to suffer alone, as there is so much help and support out there.”
Baby loss support available
Baby Loss Awareness Weeks runs from 9-15 October. More information can be found on the website of the stillbirth and neo-natal death charity SANDS
Find out more about our expertise in supporting families with concerns about maternity care at our dedicated medical negligence section. Alternatively to speak to an expert contact us or call 0370 1500 100.