A coroner has found neglect contributed to a baby's death at the hospital where he was born.
Jasper Brooks died at the Darent Valley Hospital in Kent on 15 April 2021. The coroner found gross failures by midwives and consultants at the hospital and says Jasper's death was "wholly avoidable".
Jasper was a second child for Jim and Phoebe Brooks. Due to a complication during pregnancy of her first child, Phoebe was booked in to have an elective Caesarean section to deliver Jasper. But in April 2021 those plans changed overnight.
A check-up found Phoebe had raised blood pressure. She was told to remain in hospital and that the C-section would happen the following morning - nine days earlier than planned - when there were more staff on duty.
Jasper's parents say the midwives caring for Phoebe repeatedly failed to listen to her and Jim's concerns - that she was shaking violently, feeling sick, and thought she was bleeding internally.
"We felt like an inconvenience - no-one wanted to deal with me that night," Phoebe says. "The doctor didn't want to do my C-section, the midwife that's meant to be looking after me, she just doesn't really care.
"I remember saying clearly to her, 'my whole body is shaking - something's happening, and no-one's taking the time to listen to what I'm saying or listen in on my baby'."
At the inquest hearing, midwife Jennifer Davis was accused by the family's barrister, Richard Baker KC, of "failing to act on signs of blood loss, failing to determine if Phoebe was in active labour, and failing to call a senior doctor when necessary".
Jasper was born without a heartbeat, so a resuscitation team was called. But during the inquest, the family learned that further errors were made because the correct people failed to attend the resuscitation.
There was no consultant neonatologist on site - a doctor with expertise in looking after newborn infants or those born prematurely. Intubation, the process of placing a breathing tube into the windpipe - which should only take a few minutes - did not occur for 18 minutes. There was also a delay in administering adrenaline to try to stimulate Jasper's heart.
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Source BBC News, 24 October 2023