Hospital sorry for baby death

Michelle Tighe at her daughter's grave at Lytham Crematorium.
Michelle Tighe at her daughter's grave at Lytham Crematorium.
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BLACKPOOL Victoria Hospital has apologised to a mum for a catalogue of errors during the birth of her daughter – who died hours after being born.

Hospital bosses admitted its staff did not recognise Michelle Tighe was in labour when she was admitted with stomach pains in September.

An investigation into the new-born’s death was held and the hospital admitted there were some areas where they did not give the patient optimal care.

n Doctors failed to recognise Miss Tighe was in labour and initially gave her two paracetamol for the pain.

n Miss Tighe was ‘insensitively’ told she was having a miscarriage despite being able to hear her babies heartbeat on a monitor.

n She was refused a steroid injection which some doctors may have administered.

n Following the death of her baby she was placed back on a ward with new born babies and their mothers.

n She was not offered counselling as the bereavement officer was off sick and there was no-one to cover.

At a meeting with Miss Tighe senior staff admitted they ‘got it wrong’ but will ‘reflect and learn’ from the incident which, they say, in no way reflects normal practice.

Miss Tighe, who lives in Mereside, is now expecting another child but says she will never go back to Blackpool Victoria.

She said: “When I arrived at hospital I was less than six months into my pregnancy but explained to staff the pain felt like contractions and was occurring every two to three minutes.

“I was told I wasn’t in labour but if I did go into labour, hospital was the best place for me as I could be given something to stop it.

“When doctors finally realised I was in labour I was told I was having a miscarriage even though I could still hear my baby girl’s heart beating.”

Following Miss Tighe’s complaint senior staff agreed that although ‘miscarriage’ is the terminology used for premature babies under 24 weeks, the doctor should have been more sensitive.

Hospital bosses also admitted staff had failed to recognise she was in labour but said the baby would have had little chance of survival if they had.

The 27-year-old told The Gazette her baby girl, named Heavenly, deserved every opportunity to survive.

“I know she was high risk and her chances were slim but all steps to prevent her death should have been taken.”

The heartbroken mum said she was also furious about the after care she received.

She said; “I had just said goodbye to my daughter when doctors thought it fit to put me back onto a ward where I could hear and see new born babies.

“What were they trying to do? Send me over the edge?”

Marie Thompson, director of nursing and quality at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The trust offers its sincere condolences to Miss Tighe and her family.

“We apologise she had cause for concern about the standard of care she received in the hospital. We have held several meetings with Ms Tighe to discuss her concerns and held a thorough investigation into her case. We are committed to learning from the incident and resolving the issues that arose.”