Coroner Warning over Baby Deaths In Caesarean Cost Debate
The BBC is reporting the outcome of an inquest into the death of Kristian Jaworski. Kristian died just five days after his birth in June 2015 at North Middlesex University Hospital. Kristian died as a result of brain damage caused by a prolonged and extended instrumental delivery.
Following the birth of her first child Tracey Taylor had been told that future deliveries would have to be by caesarean section because she had a narrow birth canal. This was not recorded in her medical records and doctors ignored her multiple requests for a caesarean during labour. The result was that she was taken to the operating theatre where repeated attempts were made to deliver Kristian using suction then forceps, until doctors eventually performed an emergency caesarean section. Sadly, Kristian had already sustained brain damage by this time.
North Middlesex University Hospital has accepted liability for Kristian’s death and has revised its guidance concerning instrumental delivery.
At the conclusion of the inquest the coroner sent his report to the Department of Health because he identified financial reasoning for favouring a vaginal delivery over caesarean section. Figures provided by the Department of Health show that the average cost of vaginal deliveries is £1,985 and the average cost of caesarean sections is £3,781. The Hospital has denied that cost was a consideration in Kristian’s case. The Department of Health has 56 days to respond to the coroner’s report.
Specialist clinical negligence solicitor Kenneth Lees said of this news story “Doctors and midwives have to weigh up several competing risks when determining the appropriate means of delivering a baby. Happily the vast majority of babies are delivered safe and well. Where issues arise it is often due to unforeseen problems during delivery or failures in the planning for the delivery, for example disregard of the size of the baby. The suggestion made by the coroner that cost was a consideration is an additional disturbing feature in a very sad case. We will wait to see how the Department of Health responds to the coroner’s report.”
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