Baby death: South Yorks mum calls for changes to hospital’s maternity practices

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A SOUTH Yorkshire mum whose baby died after complications during birth is calling for a review of maternity practices at a South Yorkshire hospital.

Ava Parkes died seven hours after she was born after being starved of oxygen during a traumatic birth at Rotherham Hospital, an inquest heard.

She became stuck after one of her shoulders was trapped against her mother Katie Pilling’s pelvis during the delivery.

A delay in delivering the baby meant she was unable to start breathing on her own.

Rotherham Coroner Nicola Mundy decided it took around 12 minutes for Ava to be delivered, compared to an average of three to four minutes.

Recording a narrative verdict she said: “The time interval between the delivery of the head and body placed her under increasing stress leading to irretrievable hypoxic brain injury.”

Guidelines give medical staff five minutes to extract babies using recognised internal manoeuvres, but in Ava’s case seven manoeuvres were tried before she was eventually born.

Ms Mundy recorded the cause of death as ‘perinatal hypoxia’ linked to the traumatic nature of her birth, the shoulder dystocia and compression of the neck.

After the inquest hairdresser Katie, aged 25, of Byron Road, Mexborough, said: “We believe a doctor should have been called much more quickly once it was obvious Ava was stuck.

“Both the junior and senior midwife that were looking after me were unable to free Ava’s shoulder when the emergency happened.

“A registrar who had been called for, but was busy in theatre, eventually attended and delivered Ava but we believe it was too late by then to save her.

“We hope the hospital acts on the coroner’s verdict and improves its systems to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

A Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said: “We always aim to deliver the best levels of patient care and we did undertake a full and thorough investigation into the care and treatment Ava received.”

The coroner said the events were a ‘very fraught and distressing situation for all involved’ and the timings surrounding Ava’s birth were ‘far from clear’.

Solicitor Laura Craig, of Irwin Mitchell, said afterwards: “When complications arise during childbirth every second counts.”