Inquest hears how four-day-old baby's life could have been saved with new medical practices

Grieving parents heard that new medical practices could have saved their baby, who died in their arms at just four days old from preventable brain damage caused during labour.

Sebastian Clark was born at Kingston Hospital on March 8 2017,  with devastating injuries from which he would never recover.

Failure by midwives to escalate the case and subsequent failure by doctors to expedite the pregnancy, despite knowing that Sebastian’s mother Alison had developed chorioamnionitis, a bacterial infection associated with prolonged labour, led to the tragedy.

An inquest at West London Coroner’s Court that began today (January 16) is exploring how baby Sebastian died.

Mrs Clark told the inquest that medical staff repeatedly told her there was nothing to worry about, and dismissed suggestions of a caesarean birth, despite her concerns about the infection and long labour.

After several hours of being in labour, Sebastian was finally born with the help of forceps – not breathing and with no heartbeat – and was rushed off for resuscitation.

Mrs Clark said: “I didn’t see Sebastian after he was born. I had no clue as to what was going on.

“I was in a state of shock the entire time, and I was very confused.”

The new family was taken to St George’s Hospital in Tooting so Sebastian could have emergency treatment.

Mrs Clark and her husband, Justin, were given books to read to Sebastian, and spent all the time they could with him.

But the couple were told there that their son was brain dead, unable to react to light or hear sounds.

His outer cortex was entirely damaged, and there was no chance of a full recovery.

Holding back tears, Mrs Clark described the moment the couple decided to turn off Sebastian’s life support machine just four days after he was born.

She said: “We felt like we had to do what was right for Sebastian.”

Mr Clark, in a statement read out by Tees Law representative Catherine Cross on his behalf, said: “If we kept Sebastian alive, it would have been for us and not for him.”

He said there was a long time after Sebastian’s birth when neither parent knew what was happening.

After Sebastian was born and rushed off, Mr Clark had to work out for himself what was happening, deducing that a clock he saw was being used to time how long his son had not had a heartbeat.

That clock ran up to 26 minutes.

He said: “I was terrified. I was in a state of panic.

“I was anxiously trying to figure out what was going on.”

Describing the situation, he said: “There was blood – so very much blood. That exact moment will haunt me for the rest of our lives.

“I was fearful for Alison’s and my son’s lives.”

Speaking at the inquest, midwives from Kingston Hospital admitted that new guidelines put in place since Sebastian’s death for dealing with chorioamnionitis would have meant the birth being expedited – reducing the risk of brain damage.

Mrs Clark had been given antibiotics and medical staff believed Sebastian was coping with the infection.

Senior midwives and doctors were aware of her situation, but an “extremely busy” night on the ward meant Dr Kohler-Boureq, who was dealing with Mrs Clark in the latter stages of her labour, “lost track of time” dealing with other emergency cases.

Three women had developed the same infection on the same night, which was very unusual.

Speaking at the inquest, Dr Chorouk Kohler-Boureq agreed that “in the cold light of day” Sebastian’s birth should have been expedited at least an hour before he was finally delivered.

Midwife Jenny Coward, who dealt with Mrs Clark after she was sent from triage, maternity ward sister Anne Banks and midwife Katie Hodder all agreed that new guidelines around chorioamnionitis could have saved Sebastian.

The guidelines, put in place at Kingston Hospital since Sebastian’s tragic death, would have meant birth was expedited sooner – and they would be more wary of the affect the infection could have on babies during labour.

HM Coroner Dr Sean Cummings will deliver his verdict on the case tomorrow (January 17) after the hearing continues.

Thisislocallondon
Inquest hears medical practices saved
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
3 views in may
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
An EE customer has said she was stalked by an ex-partner who worked at the firm, after he accessed her personal data without permission. Francesca Bonafede's number was switched to a new handset and her address and bank details were accessed. She said the company failed to take the data breach seriously and she had to involve police. EE "sincerely apologised" to Ms Bonafede, and said the employee no longer worked for the company. 'They didn't seem concerne...
Society
West Ham say they have handed over all of their evidence to the police after completing a "thorough and immediate" investigation into racist abuse shouted at Liverpool's Mohamed Salah. The incident happened during Monday's 1-1 draw at London Stadium. Egypt striker Salah, 26, was filmed on a mobile phone from a section of home supporters as he was taking a corner. "The club is unequivocal in its stance - such abuse will not be tolerated," West Ham said in a...
Society
A body seen in the wreckage of the plane carrying Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has been recovered, investigators said. Remotely operated Vehicles (ROVs) were used in ‘challenging conditions’ to pull the body out of the water ‘in as dignified a way as possible’ the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said on Wednesday night. The body is being taken to Portland to be passed over to the Dorset coroner for examination, t...
Society
The US president, who has repeatedly criticised the military alliance, would meet with heads of state in London, Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg announced on Wednesday. It would be Mr Trump's second visit to Britain since his election, having jetted in amid swathes of protest last July. I am pleased to announce that allies have agreed that the next meeting of Nato heads of state and government will take place in London in December 2019. The meeting...
Society
Rolf Harris was jailed for five years and nine months in 2014 but released on licence in May 2017 Credit: PA Officials are investigating a report that disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris walked onto the grounds of a primary school and waved at pupils. The convicted sex offender went onto the premises of Oldfield Primary School near his home in Bray, Maidenhead, to talk to a sculptor working in the grounds, the Daily Mirror reported. Harris, who was jailed fo...
Crime
Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a teenager was stabbed to death. Police and London Ambulance Service were called to Wolsey Court, off Westbridge Road in Battersea, at 7.52pm on Tuesday following reports of a stabbing. A 19-year-old man was found with stab injuries and died at the scene at 8.36pm despite paramedics battling to save his life. The stabbing took place less than half a mile from Prince George's primary school, Thomas's B...
Society
The girl, who has been named Roman by nurses, was found at around 10pm on Thursday in the park in Roman Road in East Ham.  Police said Roman was wrapped in a white towel and placed in the shopping bag on the ground next to a bench in the small children's play park.  The baby was rushed to hospital where she was in a stable condition on Friday morning, the Metropolitan Police said.  Roman was discovered by grandmother-of-one Rima Zvaliauskiene, 50, just 100...
Society
The operation to recover the doomed plane carrying Emiliano Sala off Guernsey could be hampered by days of poor weather as the man brought in by the footballer's family to find him said he could be in the wreckage. The English Channel is being battered by torrential ran, 40mph winds and 10ft waves with the poor conditions set to continue - and worsen - until the end of the week, MailOnline can reveal today. The families of the £15million striker and his pi...
Society
Train passengers are being warned of major disruption after overhead electric wires were damaged near one of London’s busiest stations. Network Rail said services travelling to and from Liverpool Street could be cancelled or revised until 8am on Thursday. Wires between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green, east London, were damaged, with the outage impacting Greater Anglia, London Overground, Stansted Express and Transport for London Rail services. Passenger...