Couple told baby was stillborn later learned he had been born alive

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Fitness-to-practise inquiry continues into ‘Doctor A’ following birth of Mark Molloy in 2012

The Medical Council: a fitness-to-practise inquiry has heard that Róisín Molloy, the baby’s mother, says she was informed baby Mark’s birth had been a stillbirth but she later went on to investigate this claim. Photograph: Alan Betson The Medical Council: a fitness-to-practise inquiry has heard that Róisín Molloy, the baby’s mother, says she was informed baby Mark’s birth had been a stillbirth but she later went on to investigate this claim. Photograph: Alan Betson

 
 

 

 

A couple who were told by a hospital that their baby boy was stillborn later found out that he had been born alive, a Medical Council fitness-to-practise inquiry has heard.

The second day of the inquiry into a doctor involved in the delivery of baby Mark Molloy, who died at the Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise, on January 24th, 2012, took place in Dublin on Monday.

Róisín Molloy, the baby’s mother, told the inquiry last week she and her husband Mark were “devastated” after unsuccessful attempts to resuscitate their baby. He died about 22 minutes after his birth by Caesarean section.

Ms Molloy had been due to be induced on the day in question, but woke shortly after 4am with pains and her husband took her to hospital. The inquiry heard Ms Molloy had been pushing for almost two hours before she was taken for a section.

Ms Molloy said she was informed baby Mark’s birth had been a stillbirth but she later went on to investigate this claim.

Obtained records

She and her husband, Mark, told the inquiry they obtained records from the hospital using Freedom of Information legislation, and later sought records from the Health Service Executive and the Department of Health. They discovered baby Mark had been recorded as stillborn but in fact was a neonatal death. The coroner was also notified it had been a stillbirth.

Mr Molloy told the inquiry his wife had been due to be induced at 8am on the day in question and it was after 8am when Dr A indicated he would ring “witness four” within 10 minutes if there was no progress.

He said there “clearly was not a plan in place” for Ms Molloy’s labour, “or if there was a plan, Dr A had not read it”.

Mr Molloy said that, after their baby’s death, the couple were hoping to learn the cause was that “his little heart was not for this world”. But when they learned he had died due to a lack of oxygen, that changed everything.

Inquest

Mr Molloy said the way baby Mark’s death was recorded had been important, as there was no automatic entitlement to an inquest in the case of a stillbirth, but this was different in the case of a neonatal death. Ultimately, an inquest recorded death due to medical misadventure and a neonatal death.

Ms Molloy said no one had explained to her what was going on after the baby was born at 9.31am. She also said she had been informed by Dr A before the delivery that baby Mark was not in distress.

She also later learned that she was ill and needed a blood transfusion. The inquest heard Ms Molloy remained in surgery for about an hour and a half after the birth.

Mrs Molloy said she met “witness four” on February 9th, 2012, and was shown the CTG (cardiotocograph), known as a “trace”, for baby Mark. She said it was a supportive meeting and that the witness had advised the family to “get a good solicitor”.

Investigation

At a later meeting with hospital management, Ms Molloy said she was asked if the Molloys wanted the hospital to investigate what had happened and they had said “of course” they wanted it investigated as it was a public hospital. She said the attitude from the hospital side had been “just very blase” and that it was “nothing to do” with them and was a clinical matter.

Dr A, who was working as a registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology at the hospital, is facing allegations of professional misconduct and poor professional performance.

Other medical and nursing staff are due to give evidence and, at the request of the inquiry, will also not be identified.