Court Informed that Newborn Baby Died 13 Hours after Doctors Withdrew Care

A High Court medical negligence action hearing, that was submitted by the parents of a newborn baby who died “gasping for breath” for a 13-hour period after doctors stopped administering care, has begun.

The compensation action was taken against the Health Service Executive (HSE) by the baby’s parents 31-year-old Tia Suhaila Habib and 39-year-old Robert Coyne (39), from Westmeath. The action is seeking damages for alleged medical negligence and breach of duty regarding in relation to the events that took place during the birth and tragic death of their son Jack Coyne at the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar during September 2016.

On September 23 2016 Jack was delivered, the third child of Tia and Robert, was delivered by caesarian section.

Legal representative for Jack’s parents, Declan Doyle SC, informed the court that he died in his mother’s arms following the “most harrowing 13 hours” during which time the infant was “gasping for breath” after doctors had withdrawn care.

Mr Doyle told the Judge that the medical testimony will show that the child was baby was born with a “very significant” loss of blood and that, due to this, a blood transfusion should have been completed soon after delivery. He added that he will be presented evidence to show that the baby would have survived if a blood transfusion had taken place soon after delivery.

While the HSE first refuted these claims, it has now changed its stance and admitted that a blood transfusion should have taken place. However, it does not accept that doing so would have had a “causative impact upon the outcome”. All other claims are refuted..

In the legal action that was submitted to the High Court, Ms Habib says that she was admitted hospital around 10am as she was suffering with increasingly severe abdominal pains. These had begun in the early hours of the morning of September 23.

After 11am, it was noted that there had been a fleeting deceleration of the baby’s heartbeat and it then became difficult to detect the heart rate. Due to this an emergency lower segment c-section was scheduled and Jack was delivered at 12.59pm, weighing 2.68 kilos, it was claimed that he was pale, limp, with no heart rate and with the umbilical cord around his neck.

The medical team began a number of procedures to treat this, but despite the infant was still  pale and with no respiratory effort. it was also alleged that Doctors from the National Maternity Hospital later did not recommend moving Jack there, as it was thought he could have experienced ed a cardiac arrest in the ambulance, it was claimed. Due to this care was withdrawn and the baby passed away at 5.15am the next day.

Mr Doyle informed the Judge that Jack’s parents have, following the death of their baby, suffered nervous shock and associated injuries. He added that Ms Habib’s and Mr Coyne’s mental health has been significantly impacted. The court was told that the plaintiffs are seeking damages for these injuries that are a result of nervous shock, as well as a fatal claim for solatium as per the Civil Liability Act.

additionally, the plaintiffs are claiming that the defendants did not supply the required adequate care for the safety and wellbeing of them or their son.

The case continues.