Young Mother Left Reeling From ‘Natural Causes’ Verdict
A young mother said she is devastated after a coroner concluded her newborn daughter died of natural causes, despite her concerns about her care at Royal Derby Hospital 16 months ago.
Amelia Brusby was delivered by emergency caesarean section on December 22, 2014 but suffered a fatal brain injury and stopped breathing as her mum cradled her, just hours after her birth.
Her cause of death was recorded by Paediatric Pathologist Dr Marta Cohen as a brain injury arising from lack of oxygen, but Amelia’s mother says she still has questions about exactly how her baby came by the injury after her pregnancy was deemed uneventful.
Danielle Barton, from Belper, Derbyshire, has instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her daughter’s care to seek answers as to how her baby girl died.
The 22-year-old had a trouble-free pregnancy and was deemed suitable for midwifery-led care. She was admitted to Royal Derby Hospital at 40 weeks and eight days with previous signs of an infection.
Scans had confirmed that baby Amelia was measuring very large at approximately 10lbs. After a long and difficult labour, a natural birth failed to progress and the decision was made to deliver Amelia by caesarean section.
Amelia had to be revived following her difficult delivery but managed to breathe independently after two minutes. She appeared to be a happy, healthy baby for the first few hours of her life. However, she deteriorated unexpectedly and sadly died just three-and-a-half hours after her birth.
Amelia was monitored closely during the first few hours with her family, following her difficult birth.
It was noted during the Inquest that she had a slightly low temperature and that her breathing rate was raised. At this point hospital protocol dictated that Amelia should have been reviewed by a senior clinical midwife or paediatrician but this did not happen.
It was also highlighted during the Inquest that there was a failure to take the measurements correctly to monitor baby Amelia shortly following her birth.
The Inquest heard that Amelia had been bottle feeding normally and was in her mother’s arms before she stopped breathing.
Danielle developed sepsis and became seriously ill herself, remaining in hospital for eight days. It was also queried during the inquest whether Danielle had developed gestational diabetes that had not been identified during previous appointments.
Dr Marta Cohen, Paediatric Pathologist at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, said that Amelia’s death was likely to be linked to an amniotic fluid infection and the placenta being an insufficient size to nourish the baby, a problem commonly linked with gestational diabetes. Unfortunately samples were not retained for further examination.
The court heard that Danielle had been tested for gestational diabetes due to her family history, though results returned within normal limits.
Danielle attended the inquest with her partner James, their families, and a friend from child bereavement charity SANDS.
Danielle said: “It’s really important for our families to know if anything more could have been done to save Amelia. We lost her before we had the chance to know her and that feeling of loss will never go away. We are determined to find out what went wrong.”
Expert Opinion“Danielle and James have been left completely devastated by the death of their first child.
“They have always had questions about her birth and what happened afterwards and sadly some of these still remain unanswered.
“We will now be assessing the evidence we have heard throughout the inquest with Danielle and James and support them as they continue to look for answers as to whether Amelia’s death could have been prevented.” Zoe Brodrick - Team Leader - Senior Associate