Mother felt ‘helpless’ waiting for doctor to treat newborn son

Barbara Carson tells inquest into death of one of her twins of ‘chaos’ in Rotunda Hospital

A mother has told an inquest she felt helpless amid chaos in the hospital as staff attempted to find a pediatric doctor when  one of her newborn twins was deemed to be in a bad way after his birth. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

A mother has told an inquest she felt helpless amid chaos in the hospital as staff attempted to find a pediatric doctor when one of her newborn twins was deemed to be in a bad way after his birth. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

 

A mother has told an inquest she felt helpless amid chaos in the hospital as staff attempted to find a pediatric doctor when one of her twins was deemed to be “in a bad way” after his birth.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard that a midwife had to run to a staff room to trigger an emergency call following the birth of Andrew and Ethan Carson at Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital almost three years ago.

Ethan was born unresponsive at 36 weeks gestation on September 11th 2015 and was pronounced dead 15 minutes later. His identical twin, Andrew, survived.

The inquest heard their parents had picked out two babygros for the boys as they waited to be called into theatre for a Caeserean section.

“We were both terrified and excited in anticipation of meeting our boys,” their mother, Barbara Carson, said.

Ms Carson said Andrew was born at 2.33pm and did not cry immediately and that Ethan followed but was described by obstetrician Dr Maeve Eogan as being “in a bad way”.

“We were stunned and shocked. We realised quickly there was no pediatric doctor present in the theatre for Ethan. I was crying and kept asking ‘Where was the doctor?’” Ms Carson said. “I could hear all the chaos and people running around. It was the most helpless moment of my life.”

‘Baby collapse beep’

Midwife Sarah Campbell said a nurse present was instructed to trigger the emergency ‘baby collapse bleep’ immediately after Ethan’s delivery.

“I saw the nurse pick up the theatre 2 phone and then put it down and leave the room. I was notified after the case had ended that the phone was out of order,” she said. She began chest compressions on baby Ethan.

“I asked the pediatrician present for assistance but twin one, Andrew was also needing urgent attention,” she said.

When the nurse returned to theatre and said the baby bleep had not been put out, Ms Campbell left theatre and ran to the lobby to get help.

“There was at least one anesthetic nurse and two midwives there (in the staff room). I requested immediate help,” she said.

Ethan was pronounced dead at 2.53pm while Andrew was transferred to intensive care and went on to make a full recovery.

“We are left struggling to understand how this tragedy happened and why did baby Ethan die,” Ms Carson said. She kept her baby with her until he was taken away to the morgue.

The inquest continues.