Inquest told of efforts to save newborn
HOSPITAL STAFF yesterday described their efforts to save a baby whose heart rate dropped when he caught an infection while still in the womb after his mother’s waters broke.
An inquest was told that a paediatric team at the Coombe hospital tried to resuscitate baby Patrick James Campbell Lynam of Clane, Co Kildare, for 50 minutes following his delivery by emergency C-section on April 27th last year. Dr Nadine Farrah told Dublin Coroner’s Court that Patrick’s mother, Sarah Campbell, had attended the antenatal clinic at the Coombe the previous day complaining of vaginal discharge.
A high swab was taken but this later tested negative for infection. Ms Campbell’s waters broke that evening at 6 o’clock and she returned to the Coombe. However, she had not commenced labour at this stage. Dr Farrah said that with a pre-labour rupture of the membrane there was a low risk of ascending infection.
International practice was not to administer antibiotics or induce labour, due to the risks involved. Instead the woman would be allowed the chance to go into labour herself. Consultant histopathologist Dr Colette Adida, who performed the postmortem, gave the the cause of death as septicaemia secondary to ascending infection.
The solicitor for Patrick’s parents, Sarah Campbell and Mark Lynam, told the court that their son’s death had been “a horrific situation” for them and thanked staff for their condolences. Coroner Dr Brian Farrell recorded a narrative verdict describing the medical cause of death.