Rotunda Hospital apologises to mother for shortcomings in care

Michelle Naughton had sued claiming the care in relation to her repeat caesarean section fell below the standard to be expected and resulted in a near-death experience for her
Rotunda Hospital apologises to mother for shortcomings in care

Ann O'Loughlin

The Rotunda Hospital has apologised to a woman for the shortcoming and failings in care provided to her when she had her baby by caesarean section six years ago.

Michelle Naughton had sued claiming the care in relation to her repeat caesarean section fell below the expected standard and resulted in a near-death experience for her.

It was claimed that the combination of intra-operative error and alleged post-operative neglect caused the mother to be close to death, but she was later rescued by the heroic surgery of a five-strong team of consultants who saved her life.

At one stage at the Rotunda Hospital, it was claimed, Ms Naughton lost 3.7 litres of blood, but only two units were replaced.

Letter of apology

The letter of apology from the Master of the Rotunda Hospital, Professor Sean Daly, was read to the High Court as Ms Naughton settled her action. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

The letter stated: “On behalf of the management and staff of the Rotunda Hospital I wish to apologise for the shortcomings and failings in care provided to you during your time as an inpatient in the Rotunda in 2017.

“In particular I apologise for the failure to escalate the level of clinical review to senior obstetric and anaesthetic personnel during the initial caesarean delivery while you were in the high dependency unit.”

It concluded: “We acknowledge the emotional and physical distress you experienced at that time.”

Outside court Ms Naughton’s solicitor, Niall Tansey, said it had been a harrowing ordeal for her. He said while she welcomed the apology, Ms Naughton wanted all the recommendations in a report to be implemented.

Those recommendations include that all non-consultant hospital doctors receive code-red massive haemorrhage protocol training as part of their induction into the hospital and understand the importance of calling code red to optimise the management of obstetric haemorrhage.

Mother-of-two Michelle Naughton, of Rossport, Ballina, Co Mayo, had sued the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin over the circumstances of her care during the birth of her second child.

It was claimed that on the evening of March 21st, 2107 Ms Naughton suffered a major placental abruption and there was a significant blood loss.

Post-operative complications

Surgery was required, but it was claimed it was carried out by a junior doctor, and it was later recorded Ms Naughton had lost 3.7 litres of blood, and she had major post-operative complications. Two units of blood were replaced, and she was admitted to the high dependency unit.

It was claimed that it was not until a senior obstetrician saw Ms Naughton a few hours later that the true extent of the impending disaster became apparent, and she was moved to an operating theatre.

The operation could not be completed at the Rotunda Hospital and Ms Naughton was transferred to another hospital but at that stage it was claimed she had suffered partial renal failure.

It was claimed the signs of increasing haemorrhage had been ignored, and a situation had been caused where Ms Naughton suffered major post-operative complications and nearly died.

It was claimed there was delay in the recognition of impending disaster and a delay in moving the mother to the operative theatre. A situation, it was claimed, had been caused to unfold where Ms Naughton nearly died and suffered significant injury including two episodes of cardiac arrest.

Liability was conceded in the case.

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