A YOUNG couple faced the agony of watching their baby daughter die just hours after she was born, an inquest heard.
Baby Millie Horan, the first child of Ravensthorpe couple Donna Anderson and Shaun Moran, lost her short battle for life hours after she was born during a routine delivery procedure at Dewsbury District Hospital on July 14, 2005.
The Bradford inquest heard yesterday that Millie suffered severe bleeding to her brain after she was delivered and lived only 17 hours.
Her mum, now 25, had suffered difficulties during labour and her doctor performed a caesarean section on her after an unsuccessful attempt at delivering the baby using a ventouse, a vacuum device.
The inquest heard that Miss Anderson was two weeks overdue when she was admitted into the hospital on July 12.
She was induced that morning, but almost 36 hours later her birth was not progressing. Staff were also concerned about the baby as the heart monitoring machine wasn’t working properly and it showed her heart rate to be dropping to a low rate on several occasions.
After 48 hours of labour she was told that she could begin pushing, but the birth was still not progressing and her doctor, Anthony Odusanya, decided to use a ventouse cap, which fits around the baby’s head and is used to pull it out. The midwife recorded that Miss Anderson’s doctor pulled on the baby six times with the cap, before deciding to perform a caesarean section.
Millie was born at 02.07am, but was blue and had to be resuscitated. She was placed on a ventilator, but her condition deteriorated and she died at 7.41pm after suffering heart failure.
Dr Philip Batman, who examined Millie’s body, told the hearing that she suffered bruising to the face and severe bleeding to the brain. He said she died from a massive scalp and subdural haemorrhage.
He said: “There is significant bleeding here: 49mililitres, which is 18% of a newborn baby’s circulating blood volume. That bleeding is consistent with a traumatic delivery.”
He said he believed the ventouse delivery contributed to the bleeding.
Mr Moran, now 24, a soldier with the Royal Signals regiment, said in a statement: “Donna was taken into theatre and the doctor got her to sign a piece of paper, even though he had not explained to her what her was going to do.
“He appeared to be pulling the baby. He pulled two or three times, he then pulled a further three times. He appeared to be using a lot of force; I thought he was going to pull the baby’s head off.
“The head was stuck. The doctor than made an incision into Donna’s abdomen. He appeared to flap.
“When the baby was delivered the cord was around her neck and she was blue. Donna and I could see staff rubbing the baby and using a machine to clear the baby’s throat.”
Midwife Michelle Goodman who aided Miss Anderson’s delivery, said using a ventouse to aid delivery was standard practice, but added that medical guidelines advised staff to abandon using the instrument after three pulls if no progress is seen.
She said she was concerned when the doctor continued to pull further on the baby’s head and would have expected him to proceed to a caesarean section sooner than he did.
Dr Odusanya told the court that he had successfully delivered 5,000 babies using the ventouse procedure.
He admitted he was delayed in starting to deliver Miss Anderson’s baby because the anaesthetist was running late, but said he pulled on the baby’s head four times, not six.
He said: “After the first four pulls the baby was in descent which is why I persisted. If there was no descent I would have abandoned the procedure.
“There are guidelines but you have to individualise care depending on the patient – I haven’t ignored them. I anticipated a successful delivery but I didn’t realise the baby was entangled in the cord.”
The hearing continues.