Delays in resuscitation of baby at Blackpool Vic 'amounted to gross neglect' and 'resulted in catastrophic brain injury', says lawyer

A lawyer representing the parents of tragic newborn Finnley Morris said that 'gross neglect' from Blackpool Victoria Hospital staff caused the death of newborn, as his brain was starved of oxygen for 42 minutes after he was born.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Friday, 15th October 2021, 2:04 pm

Finnley was born in a poor condition at the Vic at 00.22am on October 1 2020. Medics immediately tried to revive him by applying ventilation breaths and chest compressions, but his airway was not secured and his heart rate remained low.

He was not intubated until 1.04am, by which time he had suffered an unsurvivable hypoxic brain injury. He was transferred to Royal Preston Hospital, where he died four days later.

READ: Inquest hears evidence of further delays in treatment of baby who died of brain injury Victoria Beel, representing Finnley's parents in court, this morning called on coroner Alan Wilson to hand down a narrative conclusion with neglect.

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Blackpool town hall

She said: "Errors by clinicians in diagnosis and treatment are capable of amounting to neglect. We're dealing with the absence of securing an airway. While we have heard there was evidence of chest rises, we have also heard that five or six minutes after birth his heart rate was still below 60... yet no further action was taken. This resulted in a catastrophic brain injury.

"In my opinion that is a gross failure to provide medical care and amounts to neglect."

But John Sharples, representing the hospital, said neglect did not apply in this case, as the emergency treatment did not amount to 'basic care'.

He said: "I accept that medical omissions are capable of amounting to neglect, but they must fall within the definitions of neglect, which they don't in this case."

The inquest continues.