The Mirror reports on Archie Batten, a baby boy who lived just 27 minutes after birth due to mother being turned away by hospital.
Rachel Higgs, Archie’s mother was refused admission by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother hospital the first time due to not being in ‘active labour.’ On the second occurrence of visiting the hospital to be admitted, Ms. Higgs and her partner were told that they now did not have the bed space to admit her within their facilities. The closest hospital they were told to go to was around thirty-eight miles away, so the decision was made the have an at-home birth with the support of community midwives.
During the labour none of the midwives were aware that the labour needed to be progressed. Archie became stuck which led to him being unable to turn, and Ms. Higgs became hydrated due to the labour she was enduring. Once the severity of the situation was uncovered, an ambulance was called to take the mother to QEQM as they had reopened due to their now being available bed space, but did not communicate this to the midwives. Once Archie was born, he unfortunately only lived for a brief period.
Sonia Hay, a coroner stated:
“Failures amounted to gross failures to provide basic medical treatment. There were a number of missed opportunities to avoid the prolonged labour.
“There were failures in communication between the midwives at the maternity unit, and those involved with the treatment of Rachel at home.
“Not one of the midwives spoke with Rachel about her wishes or the circumstances she found herself in. The wishes of the mother were not sought or taken into considered.”
A midwife, Nikki Khan, believes that dehydration did in fact pay a crucial role in this sad event. Chief Executive of East Kent Hospitals, Tracey Fletcher has said:
“On behalf of the Trust, I apologise unreservedly to Archie’s parents and family for Archie’s death.
“We fully accept the coroner’s findings and conclusion today and we are deeply sorry for the failings in the care provided to Archie and his family in September 2019. We have made – and continue to make – changes and improvements to the quality and safety of our maternity service.”
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