A baby who lived for only 27 minutes would’ve survived if his mother was not refused admission to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (QEQM) hospital.
Archie Batten passed away after prolonged labor at home.
On Friday, a coroner found that neglect contributed to the baby’s death, saying there were many missed opportunities that resulted in complications during delivery.
According to reports, Ms. Higgs was turned away by the hospital because she was not in active labor even though she was vomiting and suffering from severe pain.
She was told to go home and ‘wait as long as possible.’ But when they returned to the hospital later that day as she was already fully dilated, they were shunned once again because of a lack of beds.
The couple were told to go to William Harvey Hospital, which was 38 miles away. But instead of making the long trip, midwives went to their home.
Ms. Higgs spent five hours trying to push her son during complicated and prolonged labor. She became dehydrated and her child got stuck and became unable to turn.
According to Ms. Higgs’ solicitor Nick Fairweather from Fairweathers Solicitors LLP, none of the midwives realized the severity of the situation right away.
An ambulance was then called after they realized that there was a problem with the fetal heart rate, prompting an ‘obstetric emergency.’
Coroner Sonia Hayes found neglect contributed to baby Archie’s death. “I find there were multiple missed opportunities to render care to Rachel and as a consequence to Archie, that were obvious and not only would have made a difference but would have prevented the death of Archie,” she said.
“Failures amounted to gross failures to provide basic medical treatment. There were a number of missed opportunities to avoid the prolonged labor.
“There were failures in communication between the midwives at the maternity unit, and those involved with the treatment of Rachel at home.”
The coroner ruled that the baby would’ve survived and been born without neurological defects if the mother had not been turned away by the hospital.
Archie’s medical cause of death revealed that he died due to a perinatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury caused by prolonged labor.
After the ruling, Ms. Higgs and Mr. Batten said in a statement: “t seems incredible to us that so many basic mistakes were made by so many people.
“Archie would be two and a half years old now. We think about him and miss him everyday and always will.
“Nothing can bring him back to us, we can only hope that true lessons will be learned from this case and lasting changes made to ensure other families do not suffer such tragedies in the future.”
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