Hospital apologises over death of mother and newborn after fall

Cork University Maternity Hospital has apologised after a girl died when she fell out of a mattress whereas breastfeeding and her new child child suffocated below her.

Marie Downey broke her neck within the fall three days after giving delivery to her third little one, a son, Darragh.

The Downey household counsel, Dr John O’Mahony SC, with Doireann O’Mahony Bl, advised the High Court this was a profoundly tragic and heartbreaking case.

He stated that when Ms Downey was faraway from the bottom in her hospital room her child was discovered suffocated. Darragh died the subsequent day at simply 4 days outdated after struggling an irreversible mind harm, counsel stated.

The apology got here as Marie Downey’s husband Kieran Downey from Limerick, settled a High Court motion over the deaths of his spouse and son.

In a letter of apology learn to the court docket, Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) apologised unreservedly to Mr Downey his sons James (8) and Sean (5) and the prolonged household for the occasions that occurred whereas Marie and Darragh had been below the care of CUMH which resulted within the lack of their lives in March 2019.

The letter added: “We cannot possibly comprehend the devastating impact these losses have had on you, James and Sean. On behalf of the staff of CUMH, especially those who were involved in the care of Marie and baby Darragh, we are truly sorry and wish to express our deepest sympathies and regret.”

Dr O’Mahony advised the court docket it the 35-year-old mom was recognized to have epilepsy.

Mr Downey (40), of Knockanevin, Kilmallock, Co Limerick, had sued the HSE over the loss of life of his spouse and four-day-old child. He additionally introduced an motion for nervous shock.

Darragh, the Downeys’ third little one, was born on March twenty second, 2019, weighing 3.76kg in wonderful situation. It was claimed the third stage of labour was sophisticated by postpartum haemorrhage, extreme bleeding, and Ms Downey misplaced half of her circulating blood quantity.

There was an alleged failure to intervene in circumstances the place intervention was clearly warranted and a failure to understand that the lack of that quantity of blood would have been enough to trigger the mom to really feel exhausted, fatigued, and drained which had been recognized to be the triggers for seizures for her.

Ms Downey it was claimed was allowed to remain unobserved in a single room when breastfeeding and no consideration, it was claimed, was paid to security measures reminiscent of the availability of cot sides.

It was contended that the choice to put Ms Downey in a single room with out supervision was in the end a deadly resolution, and there was a failure to recognise that breastfeeding could be a doubtlessly harmful time for any mom with a historical past of postnatal seizures.

There was additionally an alleged failure to pay heed to the truth that Ms Downey herself had warned of the risks of her seizing whereas breastfeeding unsupervised and a failure to adequately monitor the mom whereas she was breastfeeding alone in a single room.

The HSE admitted negligence and breach of responsibility.

Mr Downey was rocked to his core by the loss of life of his spouse and son and his thoughts was violently agitated when he found what had occurred, the court docket heard.

A postmortem on Ms Downey reported she died of a damaged neck following a fall three days after giving delivery and secondary to epilepsy. Darragh’s postmortem confirmed findings according to the newborn being compressed beneath his mom and the ground, it was claimed.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Paul Coffey prolonged his deepest sympathy to Kieran Downey and his household. He stated nothing might put together them for this extraordinary tragedy.

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