Kings Lynn mother gives birth to dying baby in hospital toilet

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Posted 12/08/2012

A Kings Lynn woman who was 20 weeks pregnant gave premature birth to her baby in a hospital toilet and was told nothing could be done as she watched her child die.Mrs Sadie Bailey became pregnant during 2010. But tests showed she had a condition which might lead to miscarriage at some point during her pregnancy.In February 2011 she began to suffer from bleeding and was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn. But when she arrived there were no beds available.  Instead, Mrs Bailey was left bleeding in the accident and emergency waiting room for five hours.

Eventually she was taken to a cubicle where she could lie down. She was still in pain and was transferred from there to the labour ward. She was told there was no cause for alarm, but she was being kept in for observation. Her husband Tony, was sent home.

Mrs Bailey was seen by the consultant 12 hours after she arrived and she asked whether she was in labour, to which she was told no. Yet two and a half hours later, a junior doctor found her in a toilet holding her fetus in her hands, still attached by the cord.

She had given birth alone and there was no call bell in the toilet to summon help. Her baby was breathing and moving. But doctors told her the child couldn’t live because its lungs were not sufficiently developed. Mrs Bailey was left holding her baby, Ned, for an hour and a half until he died.

The hospital deny negligence in not recognising that Mrs Bailey was about to have an imminent miscarriage.Sharon Allison, a medical injury specialist at Ashtons Legal and Mrs Bailey’s lawyer said: “The hospital’s claims simply don’t stand up. Mrs Bailey was offered sleeping pills, which clearly wouldn’t have happened if staff realised she was about to give birth. They had also sent her husband home, telling both parents there was nothing to worry about.

Mrs Bailey also texted friends and family, giving them regular updates on her condition as she was informed by hospital staff. The texts are clear that she wasn’t aware that miscarriage was imminent and that she felt all was well – texts she still has.

But because staff didn’t realise Mrs Bailey was about to give birth, she was horrifically left alone holding her dying child in a toilet. It was only after Mrs Bailey asked for her husband to be by her side that the staff then made contact with him.

At the moment we are considering Mrs Bailey’s legal options. Any claim wouldn’t be worth a lot in damages, but that understandably isn’t the point of the claim for Mr and Mrs Bailey. As is so often the case with NHS patients, Mrs Bailey has been driven to the law in order to achieve a degree of closure on this dreadful episode. Most of all she and her husband just want to try and wring an explanation and an apology from the hospital.

As I see too often, achieving that simple recognition of error is often a mountain to climb for traumatised families.”In a brief statement, Mr and Mrs Bailey added: “That terrible day is still etched on our minds. We can’t believe how it could have happened and we are desperate for an explanation.”


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