A baby’s life could have been saved had nurses at Peterborough City Hospital called for a doctor during his “traumatic labour”, a coroner said on Wednesday (19 December).
Anthony Hayman was just 13 days old when he died in March 2011 after being born with a condition called Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) - caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain.
An inquest into his death, which concluded at Norwich Coroner’s Court, heard that midwives at the hospital failed to notify a doctor after Anthony’s labour became extensive and his heart rate dipped.
After being born with HIE, Anthony was transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital but doctors there could not improve his condition.
Bosses at Peterborough City Hospital confirmed they have apologised to Anthony’s parents, John Hayman and Ewa Godzisz, of Wesleyan Road, Peterborough.
Coroner William Armstrong recorded a narrative verdict for Anthony’s death but said “on the balance of probabilities” his life would have been saved had a doctor been called.
He said: “Had the obstetrician been called in because of the slow progress of labour, it is more likely than not that this would have led to a transfer to the delivery suite, performance of a vaginal examination and a cardiotocograph.
“More likely than not an instrumental delivery would have been affected and on the balance of probabilities, Anthony’s life would have been saved.
“The fact than an obstetrician was not called in contributed to Anthony’s death.”
Speaking after the inquest, Mr Hayman said: “There was a long list of failings from the start.
“They failed to pick up on the signs that Anthony’s heart rate was abnormal and that labour was not progressing properly and they also failed to get Ewa reviewed by a doctor in time.”
Miss Godzisz added: “It should have been obvious to the midwives that something was wrong after two hours of traumatic labour with no progress.
“I feel badly let down by Peterborough City Hospital.”
John Randall, medical director at Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I have formally apologised to Anthony’s parents on behalf of the trust for the trauma caused by the incident and for their sad loss.
“Miss Godzisz was in labour on the Midwifery-Led Birthing Unit and was in the early second stage of labour. The care that the midwives delivered was in line with national guidance.
“No referral was made to the medical staff as it was not felt there was a clinical need to do so. We have fully investigated the incident and lessons have been learned.
“We have shared our findings with Mr Hayman and Miss Godzisz. We did discuss with them that, with the benefit of hindsight, as progress in the second stage of labour was slower than anticipated an earlier referral may have led to further intervention.”