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You are here:  Home  >>  Press  >>  Mother loses claim for injury to baby during delivery
Mother loses claim for injury to baby during delivery
The Irish Times - Sept 29, 2015
A girl (4) whose mother sued the Health Service Executive (HSE) for injury to the baby during delivery at a Co Louth hospital lost her claim for damages in the High Court on Thursday.

Mr Justice Michael White said Lisa Everard (34) claimed that excessive traction was applied to her daughter Sophie’s head when shoulder dystocia had allegedly been diagnosed, leaving her with weakness in her left elbow and shoulder. The claims of negligence were denied by the HSE. The girl was born at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.

Judge White said in a reserved judgment that shoulder dystocia is defined as a delivery that requires additional obstetrics manoeuvres to release the shoulders after gentle downward traction has failed.

He said the HSE denied there had been a shoulder dystocia emergency as alleged by Ms Everard but precautions had been made because Sophie’s head had been tight around her mother’s perineum.

The HSE had also denied that the traction imposed on Sophie’s head had caused her any injury to her arm and shoulder.

Ms Everard had alleged there had been a failure on part of the hospital staff to maintain a calm and collected approach to the delivery of the baby.

She had claimed the delivery had been complete two minutes after delivery of Sophie’s head and that this implied a degree of panic and excessive traction on the baby’s head and neck.
Medical evidence had alleged the doctor who delivered the baby had acted in a “muddled” manner, had panicked and employed an inappropriately strong force to achieve an unnecessarily rapid delivery.

Judge White, dismissing Ms Everard’s claim and adjourning the matter of legal costs to a date in October, said the doctor was a very experienced practitioner. He said the HSE had established without doubt that there were other possible causes to Sophie’s injury.
“In fact the more likely cause was injury to Sophie’s left arm and shoulder when it was posterior in the womb,” the judge said.
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