Hospital apologises after baby dies when skull fractured during birth

‘Every day I wish and pray we could have that day back again and I would have said ‘stop’’

Fiona Tuite and Ivan Murphy from Drogheda,  the parents of Evan Tuite, are seen leaving the Four Courts. Photograph: Collins

Fiona Tuite and Ivan Murphy from Drogheda, the parents of Evan Tuite, are seen leaving the Four Courts. Photograph: Collins

 

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, has apologised at the High Court for a “deficit in care” to a baby boy who died hours after his skull was fractured during his birth.

Liam Reidy SC said the circumstances of Evan Tuite’s delivery were “horrific” as the infant’s skull was fractured by one of the instruments used. Evan died in his mother’s arms some 12 hours after his birth in 2012.

His parents, Fiona Tuite and Ivan Murphy, of Rose Hall, Drogheda, said in a statement delivered outside the Four Courts, that this should not have happened to Evan or any child.

“Every day I wish and pray we could have that day back again and I would have said stop. I would never have let him go ahead and deliver Evan by force. If only Fiona had been sent for a (caesarean) section our baby would have been here today. He would now be going to school and playing with friends,” Mr Murphy said.

“We still have not had an inquest in to Evan’s death and we can’t understand why this has not happened yet. I am publicly appealing for a date to be confirmed for an inquest into our son’s death.”

Earlier, in court, the hospital apologised to Evan’s family as they settled actions against the HSE over his care at the time of his birth.

In the letter of apology, the hospital offered its heartfelt sympathy on the death of Evan and sincerely apologised for “the deficit in care” to the baby and his mother.

Liability denied

Mr Reidy said liability was denied until last year when it was admitted by the HSE.

In the action, it was pleaded that Ms Tuite was admitted to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital on June 13th, 2012 and a decision was made after 6am the next day to proceed to assisted vaginal delivery.

At 6.16am the first of two forceps blades were applied to the baby’s head and, it was claimed, two pulls were noted.

A vacuum device was applied and detached from the baby’s scalp and the forceps were reapplied at 6.26am and there was another pull. Evan was delivered in poor condition at 6.29am and transferred to the special care baby unit.

On arrival there, it is claimed medical records indicated the baby had bruising to the ear lobe and all over his skull and had skin peeling over his scalp. He required ventilation and was intubated and a CT scan showed a global hypoxic injury and evidence of haemorrhage.

A postmortem carried out later stated the cause of death to be severe external and internal cranial and brain trauma due to a difficult delivery.

The parents claimed there was a failure to inform a consultant obstetrician of the decision to carry out the mid cavity forceps delivery and failure to proceed to a Caesarean section.

It was further claimed there was failure to challenge the actions of the junior doctor attempting to deliver the baby, to realise those were seen to deviate from normal practice, which put the mother and her baby at risk, and a failure to intervene in the delivery attempts and to directly contact the consultant obstetrician on call.