Demonstrating the high quality of healthcare provided by the U.K.’s National Healthcare Service, a doctor accidentally decapitated an unborn baby, even as the pregnant woman, who was denied any pain medication, was telling her to stop.
“It was alleged that tragedy hit when the 41-year-old doctor called for the patient to push while herself applying traction to the baby’s legs.
“The movement caused the infant’s legs, arms and torso to become detached leaving the head still in his mother’s womb.
“A medical practitioners tribunal in Manchester heard the doctor allegedly continued with a vaginal delivery despite the patient’s cervix being ‘no more than four centimetres dilated’.”
The most callous moment, though, was when they reattached the head for the baby’s mother to hold.
The mother’s account at a hearing, at which she was “clutching two teddy bears in her arms”, is truly horrifying:
“‘I had been for a scan the previous Friday and I was told my son was breech and the nurse told me if anything had happened to my son it was going to be a c-section,’ she added.
“‘But when I was taken to the labour suite nobody told me what was happening. A lot of people were talking, they kept saying the baby needed to come out but nobody looked at me in the eye and told me what was going to happen.
“‘There were two doctors between my legs, one on my right hand side holding my hand and there were other people there too. I was examined by a doctor but she didn’t say anything to me. They were checking for the baby’s heartbeat and it had plummeted and that’s when I was told it was going to come out.
“‘I remember them saying I was two to three centimetres dilated and I was told to push. Nobody said I was not having a c-section and doing something else instead. Whilst this was going on I was in pain.
“‘The only pain relief I was given was a spray on my tongue. I was told it was meant to loosen my cervix but I was not given gas and air – I was in pain. I had the doctors putting their hands inside me and I had them pushing on my stomach and then pulling me down.
“‘I tried to get off the bed but they pulled me back three times and just said they had to get the baby out. They twice tried to cut my cervix and nobody told me they were going to do it. There was no anaesthetic. I said to them ‘it doesn’t feel right, stop it, what’s going on, I don’t want to do it’ but nobody responded to me in any way.
“‘Afterwards I was in a cubicle with a curtain around me and the sister came over to me and told me my son had passed away. I didn’t know the details but Dr Laxman came to see me and the baby’s father was there. Dr Laxman sat on the side of my bed and she said how sorry she was for what happened but I didn’t know the full extent of what happened at that point.
“‘I just said “it’s alright, these things happen, I forgive you.” She went away but I started screaming when I found out the full extent – I was just crying. I was upset because of the severity of his injury.
“‘I would never use the word stillborn, he was not stillborn he was decapitated. I was pregnant, my first pregnancy I wasn’t sure what was going on and I was told it was the safest place possible. Nobody explained the plan or risks associated. It was like disorganised chaos and I was scared.'”
Also check out a post on this on the InsureBlog.
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