Rotunda apologises over failings in death of baby in 2015

Carson family say surviving twin denied a lifetime of memories with his brother

A scan of twins Ethan and Andrew Carson. Image: Carson family

A scan of twins Ethan and Andrew Carson. Image: Carson family


The Rotunda Hospital in Dublin has apologised to a couple over the death of one of their twin sons in September 2015.

The hospital said the care afforded in the case of Ethan Carson, who died 15 minutes after being born unresponsive on September 11th, 2015, “fell below the standard we would expect and aspire to”.

Ethan’s twin, Andrew, turns three this year.

The Carson family, from Castleknock, said they had “to fight for two years and nine months to uncover the truth and finally get answers as to what happened” .

In a statement after the inquest into Ethan’s death at Dublin Coroner’s Court, the family said the twins had grown in “perfect unity”.

“What should have been one of the happiest days of our lives turned into utter devastation,” they said. “Andrew has been denied a lifetime of memories he should be sharing with his brother.”

The Rotunda noted that cardiotocography (CTG) tracings of the baby’s heartbeat and foetal monitoring in particular fell below expected standards.

Caesaraean section

The inquest heard Ethan’s mother, Barbara Carson, was admitted to hospital on September 9th, 2015 due to suspected deep-vein thrombosis. The twins were born by Caesarean section two days later.

Pathologist Dr Emma Doyle found Ethan died due to a complication of the umbilical cord that had gone undiagnosed. Staff at the Rotunda found no evidence of any complications prior to the birth, despite repeated CTG tracings.

Dr Doyle found evidence of compression of the cord, which in turn affected the baby’s oxygen levels. The autopsy revealed evidence of brain damage due to a lack of oxygen, which affected Ethan in the 24 hours before birth. She also found evidence of impaired foetal blood flow for up to a week before birth.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane returned a narrative verdict.

The Carson family thanked their friends, family and their legal team after the inquest, adding that “the hospital’s apology speaks for itself”.