Woman Asks Medical Negligence Lawyers To Help Secure Answers Over Family’s Maternity Care
A mum whose induction of labour was pushed back because of reduced maternity capacity has spoken of her devastation after her baby died at two-days-old.
Danielle Spalding visited Birmingham City Hospital twice in three days in March 2021 concerned about reduced movement of her baby, Edward.
Following tests, she was allowed home.
Danielle's induction of labour pushed back because of reduced maternity unit capacity
Danielle, of Tamworth, Staffordshire, was due to be induced at 41 weeks. However, her induction of labour was put back to 42 weeks because of reduced capacity in the maternity unit, an investigation by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) found.
At 42 weeks pregnant, Danielle attended hospital on 21 May, 2021, concerned about Edward’s reduced movements. Tests showed his heart rate had dropped.
A decision was made to deliver him by category one caesarean section – where there is an immediate risk to life, according to National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines.
Edward was born 17 minutes later in a poor condition. He had to be resuscitated and was transferred to a specialist neo-natal intensive care unit.
However, his condition deteriorated, and he died on 23 May, 2021, in Danielle’s arms. A post-mortem examination found he died from a massive brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen.
Staffordshire mum Danielle asks medical negligence lawyers to establish answers
Following Edward’s death, Danielle, aged 27, instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate their care under Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, which runs Birmingham City Hospital.
Danielle is now using Baby Loss Awareness Week to speak for the first time about what she went through and raise awareness of the support available to parents going through a similar experience.
She also hopes to be provided with answers as to the care Edward received. It comes after the HSIB report also found Edward had low blood glucose levels and 30-minute monitoring did not take place following his birth.
Low blood glucose in babies with serious brain damage may cause additional injury. Such an injury may have impacted on Edward’s development if he had survived, the report said.
Legal experts investigating mum's maternity care concerns
Rachael Matthews is the specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Danielle.
Expert Opinion“What should have been such a joyous occasion for Danielle and her family turned to despair with the loss of Edward.
“Understandably the last couple of years and trying to come to terms with Edward’s death while having so many questions about the events that unfolded has been incredibly difficult for Danielle.
“While nothing can ever make up for her loss, we’re determined to provide her with all of the answers she deserves.
“Sadly through our work we too often see the devastating consequences families can be left to face following baby loss. If during the course of investigations any issues are identified in the family’s care, it’s vital that lessons are learned to improve maternity safety for others.” Rachael Matthews
Baby loss: Danielle Spalding's story
Danielle, who has two other children, Elizabeth, aged seven and Lirael, aged 11 months, said: “I was overwhelmed with emotion when I found out I was expecting Edward. I had everything prepared and had crocheted fox teddies for him.
“When I got to 42 weeks and Edward wasn’t moving as much as he had been I was really concerned. However, nothing really prepared me for what was to come.
“It’s still difficult to find the words to describe everything that happened. What should have been one of the happiest days of my life turned into utter despair.
“I’ll always cherish those precious moments I got to spend with Edward. Holding him in my arms as he lost his brave fight for life is something that will stay with me forever. I just wanted to love and care for my boy, but I felt powerless to save him.”
Danielle supports Baby Loss Awareness Week
Following Edward’s death, Danielle received support from the Woody and Winter Foundation. The charity helps families of sick children and those affected by baby loss.
Danielle added: “The charity reached out after Edward died and we’ve become good friends. They got us out the house to give Elizabeth some fun and normality. They run support groups which I attended and which were extremely helpful in trying to try and process what had happened.
“I’d do anything to have Edward at home with us, however, I know that’s not possible. Despite this he’ll always be part of our family and we’ll never stop loving him.
“I just hope the least I can do is honour Edward’s memory by establishing the answers he deserves. By speaking out I hope that I can possibly help others in a similar situation. People shouldn’t have to go through the devastation of losing a baby alone as help and support is available.”
Baby Loss Awareness Weeks runs from 9-15 October. More information on the Woody and Winter Foundation can be found on the charity's website.
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in supporting families affected by issues in maternity care at our dedicated birth injuries section. Alternatively, to speak to an expert contact us or call 0370 1500 100.