Newborn baby’s lungs burst after resuscitation
Newborn baby died over hospital blunder
Jul 27 2012
A baby died 20 minutes after birth when her lungs burst after being mistakenly flooded with oxygen, an inquest heard yesterday.
Kathryn Leigh needed help when she was delivered in a frail and floppy condition in an emergency caesarean section.
But, the 8lb 1oz infant was connected to an oxygen tube meant for adult patients instead of a ‘Tom Thumb’ resuscitator for children.
Oxygen was pumped into her lungs at 60lb per square inch, about twice the pressure used for car tyres and 137 times that of the children’s resuscitator.
Neonatal consultant Bob Welch admitted a ‘gross error’ had taken place at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, but no one has admitted connecting the tube to the wrong mechanism.
The inquest jury returned a verdict of misadventure, reducing Kathryn’s parents Philip, 35, and Sonia, 30, to tears – because they believe the hospital has escaped with little punishment.
The couple, from Telford, Shropshire, had hoped a ruling of unlawful killing could be considered, but this was not allowed.
Dr Anirban Maitra, who was responsible for Kathryn’s resuscitation, said that when the baby had been handed to him, she was very frail and ‘floppy’ while her chest was not moving.
But he refused to answer several questions under a rule allowing him not to respond to any which could incriminate himself.