Hospital failure led to baby's death at Barnet General Hospital

First published in London News
Last updated
This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter - north London

A hosptial has been criticised after doctors failed to spot the warning signs that lead to the death of a newborn baby.

An inquest at Barnet Coroners Court heard that had baby Andrei Ciprian Matei been born more than half an hour earlier he could have survived.

The baby was born at Barnet General Hospital, in Wellhouse Lane, after doctors failed to detect he was being starved of oxygen in the womb.

His mother, Lenuta Matei, was admitted to the hospital’s maternity ward on December 12, 2010 where a scan revealed the baby’s heart rate was slowing down.

Mrs Matei, who spoke little English, was taken to the operating theatre where staff attempted a forceps delivery.

But when this failed, they performed an emergency caesarean - but it was already too late to save the baby.

Romanian born Mrs Matei, who lived in Hillfield Lane, Colindale, with her husband Millica, said she would have chosen an emergency caesarean over a forceps delivery – but was not given the option.

Representing the family, barrister Caroline Cross said: “If appropriate consent had been taken, Mrs Matei could have opted for a caesarean section. That would have bought the clock back.

“He would have been delivered earlier and been less hypoxic – so there would have been a greater chance of survival.”

Delivering a narrative conclusion, coroner Andrew Walker said doctors failed to take a blood sample or pick up the abnormalities on the scan which had “adverse effects”.

He said: “There was a failure to follow the consultant plan and NICE guidelines in taking a blood sample, which is likely to have been abnormal from 6.09pm.

“There was a failure to pick up on abnormalities in the scan from 6.220pm onwards.

“At the application of forceps, there was a loss of opportunity for emergency delivery, which is likely to have led to a greater chance of survival.”

A statement from Barnet & Chase Farm NHS Trust said: "The trust has taken note of the coroner’s comments and the verdict returned and will ensure in line with Trust policy, that any learning arising from the inquiry is given proper and due consideration. 

"We hope that Mr and Mrs Matei have, through this process and with the support of their legal team, been able to get answers to any outstanding questions they had and we would like, once again, to offer them our sincerest condolences for the loss of their son."

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