Baby 'nearly died' after mum sent home, says family

The family of a pregnant Devon woman sent home from hospital in labour claims the baby "nearly" died.

Katie Hedges, 21, was sent home from Torbay Hospital, after being told her labour was not advanced enough.

Paramedics later delivered baby Emily, but the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck, and she was not breathing, the family said.

South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said it would investigate once it had formally heard from Miss Hedges.

Miss Hedges father, George, said he had made a complaint to South Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, because he felt his daughter should not have been sent home from the hospital on 24 July.

He said: "My daughter went into labour at about 3am and the hospital told us to wait until her contractions were four or five minutes apart before bringing her in.

"We waited until 10am and took her to Torbay Hospital.

"She was there no more than an hour and they told us the contractions were not close enough and we should go home.

"Katie was in a lot of pain but the hospital would not let her stay and on the way back home she was in such a lot of pain.

"Within half of an hour of getting home, Katie felt the baby was coming so we rang the hospital back and they told us to ring for an ambulance.

"The baby was born with the umbilical cord around her throat and she was blue and wasn't breathing.

"She didn't have a pulse and she wasn't breathing for nearly 10 minutes.

"The ambulance crew were absolutely brilliant and they worked on resuscitating her. They saved my granddaughter's life.

"If it was not for them, my granddaughter would not be here... [she] nearly lost her life."

Rapid changes

Mr Hedges said he wanted Torbay Hospital to investigate why his daughter was sent home in pain.

He said: "I don't want another pregnant woman to go through this and have a worse case scenario than my daughter did."

A spokesman for South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: "The Trust is awaiting formal correspondence from the patient, once received we will be in a position to conduct a formal and thorough investigation into this case.

"In the meantime, we would like to apologise if the hospital has not met the highest quality of care which we strive to offer those women who choose to access our maternity services.

"For those women with no known complications our usual advice would be for mothers to remain at home in comfortable and familiar surroundings, keeping in regular contact with the maternity service until they are ready to come into hospital for the birth of their baby.

"Midwives are trained to make decisions based on the clinical findings at the time, supported by local evidence based policies.

"However it should be noted that on occasions the clinical picture can change quite rapidly."

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