Hospital responsible for newborn death after checking wrong heartbeat

Such a horrible mistake.

A hospital in the U.K. has been forced to admit negligence after staff mistakenly monitored a mothers heart rate instead of her unborn babys.

Danielle Johnston, 31, went into an induced early labour in June 2011 when she was eight months pregnant. Her daughter, Sadie Pye, died just hours after birth.

Midwives at the Royal Bolton Hospital in Lancashire, England noticed that the babys heart rate had rapidly accelerated when Johnstons water broke, but said it went back to normal about 30 minutes later.

This, however, was, in fact, Johnstons heart rate. Not Sadies.

“A doctor came in to see me and said he would come back to check on Sadies heart rate but left me with the trainee midwife. He didnt comeback,” Johnston told the Mirror

“It was weird and I knew something wasnt right. A midwife noticed this and seemed to panic. She was looking at the CTG monitorand expressed concern.”

Heartbreakingly, medical experts have since revealed that Sadie would have survived if doctors had correctly monitored the newborn’s heart.

Johnston also explained that the inexperienced midwives on duty delayed the traumatic delivery even further when they were unable to cut the umbilical cord.

Upon realising something was wrong, Johnston, her partner, and newborn Sadie were transferred to a nearby hospital, where doctors found Sadie had minor brain damage. 

Later that day, doctors were forced to switch off her life support. 

“Her death and what happened didnt hit me until I went home without my baby. All the stuff wed bought for her was there and I just wanted to curl up and die.”

Since Sadies death in 2011, the Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has settled a legal case with the Johnston family for an undisclosed sum, and have been forced to admit that they breached their duty of care. 

This article first published on Marie Claire.

Related stories