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Posted on 5th June 2017

Baby Heart Monitoring Error Negligence Admitted

A hospital in Bolton admitted negligence after staff monitored the heart rate of a baby’s mum instead of the heart rate of the baby.


In June 2011, mum was given an epidural and induced at 8 months due to developing gestational diabetes. The midwives observed the baby’s heart rate increasing rapidly after mum’s waters had broken but confirmed the heart rate went back down to normal after around 30 minutes.


A trainee midwife was left with the mum and baby after a doctor said he would come back to check on baby’s heart rate, however the doctor didn’t go back.


It was found that staff at the hospital were incorrectly monitoring the mum’s heart rate and not the baby’s. Independent Expert Witnesses confirmed that if the baby’s heart rate had been monitored correctly, midwives could have seen that baby was in distress and could have performed a C-Section, delivering baby earlier. To compound matters further midwives couldn’t cut baby’s umbilical cord.


Shortly after birth, baby was transferred to a hospital in the Wirral because it was found she had suffered minor brain damage but whilst on the way baby suffered a cardiac arrest. Doctors at the hospital in the Wirral decided to turn off the life support and mum and dad stayed until baby passed away.


A representative of the NHS Foundation Trust commented “We are deeply sorry for the circumstances that led to the sad death of baby.” The trust have identified and taken actions to minimise the risks of this nature happening again.