Doctors admit C-section error in tragic baby's botched birth

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TWO consultants have admitted to the parents of a baby deprived of oxygen at birth they should have performed a caesarean section earlier.

Baby Senan Michael Christopher Dodd was born at Mount Carmel Hospital, Dublin, on March 28, 2008.

There was a delay in performing the emergency birth procedure and the baby boy suffered severe brain damage due to oxygen deprivation ...

He died ... on March 30, 2008.

Two consultants obstetricians ... acknowledged ... the caesarean section should have been performed earlier.

Dr Rafferty said he contributed to the delay in delivering the baby and expressed his "profound apologies" to the baby's parents ...

[The] Midwife ... told the court she called Dr Rafferty to review Roberta ... due to lack of progress of labour, following an hour of active pushing.

The doctor said he gave the parents the option of a caesarean section or of an epidural with syntocinon ...

Syntocinon and an epidural were administered.

But the doctor failed to look back at the trace of the foetal heartbeat, which indicated a slow heart rate at 2.45pm and another slow rate after pushing began.

... He told the inquest he should have, "been more direct and said a C-section was the way to go".

He agreed with counsel for the family, Bruce Antoniotti, that he did not tell the Dodds there was foetal distress because he failed to perceive it, as he failed to look back far enough on the trace.

The baby's heart rate was monitored intermittently ...

This is the standard of care for women in normal labour with a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Dr Valerie Donnelly, who took over from Dr Rafferty, reviewed Mrs Dodd around 6.20pm after a prolonged period of slow foetal heart rate.

Dr Donnelly proceeded as planned and recommenced the syntocinon although it had been turned off by the midwife, who was preparing for a C-section.

"I regret I did not deliver the baby by C-section at that point. I believe my delay in making the decision to deliver him by caesarean section has contributed to his death," ...