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The midwife said the distraught mother-to-be faked it before the baby died

The midwife said the desperate pregnant woman faked it before the baby died

Donna Lea repeatedly tried to sound the alarm (Images: Stoke Sentinel/BPM Media)

A midwife said a pregnant woman was faking it when she complained something was wrong just hours before her baby died, an inquest has been told.

Donna Lea was admitted to Royal Stoke University Hospital after her waters suddenly ruptured on September 18 at just under 31 weeks.

The mother of four was taken straight to the maternity ward within 48 hours due to the high likelihood of a premature birth.

Her care was then de-escalated on the morning of September 20 and she was transferred to the antenatal ward.

Events took a tragic turn for the worse later that day when Donna repeatedly tried to sound the alarm that baby Addison Lea was not moving as much.

An inquest into the newborn’s death found she first complained at 4pm to a maternity worker, who raised him several times with two midwives.

This maternity worker said at the hearing that she was “angry and upset” that the requests were not processed for a further two hours after 6pm.

She said, “I have informed her on numerous occasions of concerns that Donna had raised.”

The examination of one of the midwives initially brushed her off by saying: “She’s faking it. She was just out for a cigarette, she can’t be in so much pain.’

A coroner has ruled a newborn baby could have survived had it not been'neglected' by Royal Stoke University Hospital. Addison Lea Stevenson was born on September 21 at the age of 30 weeks and five days after an emergency C-section. Donna and Nathan Lea have made a complaint about the NHS' handling of their daughter's birth after leaving the hospital with only a keepsake box and photo. Little Addison Lea Stevenson was born on September 21st in the 30th week of pregnancy via emergency c-section. But Donna claims her pleas for earlier intervention went unheeded as Addison lost her fight to live in the NICU just before midnight.

Little Addison Lea Stevenson arrived via emergency c-section on September 21 (Image: Stoke Sentinel/BPM Media)

The midwives claimed in their statements that the death of the maternity nurse only informed them of the reduced movements of the fetus at 6.20pm, after which they responded to the concerns.

An electrocardiogram showed baby Addison’s heart rate had risen above normal, and Donna was taken back to the delivery room for an emergency caesarean.

But the newborn died within hours, leaving parents Donna and Nathan Stevenson heartbroken.

Addison died of complications from chorioamnionitis – an infection of the placenta and amniotic fluid. The investigation concluded that she could have survived without “neglect”.

The set of errors included failing to ensure Donna was seen face-to-face by a consultant obstetrician before her treatment was de-escalated and she was transferred to the antenatal ward.

Her antibiotics for a urinary tract infection were also reduced from intravenous to oral after her test results were “misinterpreted”.

The court heard there was a missed opportunity to electronically monitor the fetus on September 20 in the antenatal ward, which would have prompted medics to deliver Addison earlier.

And there was also a delay in diagnosing Addison’s infection.

A coroner has ruled a newborn baby could have survived had it not been'neglected' by Royal Stoke University Hospital. Addison Lea Stevenson was born on September 21 at the age of 30 weeks and five days after an emergency C-section. Donna and Nathan Lea have made a complaint about the NHS' handling of their daughter's birth after leaving the hospital with only a keepsake box and photo. Little Addison Lea Stevenson was born on September 21st in the 30th week of pregnancy via emergency c-section. But Donna claims her pleas for earlier intervention went unheeded as Addison lost her fight to live in the NICU just before midnight.

Donna and Nathan were left heartbroken by the mistakes (Image: Stoke Sentinel/BPM Media)

North Staffordshire Deputy Medical Examiner Sarah Murphy said: “There has been a gross failure to provide basic medical care. I find neglect. Death was caused by neglect.

‘It is quite clear that the hospital foundation has dealt very carefully with the system errors and the individual errors.’

Addressing Addison’s devastated parents, Ms Murphy added: “I hope you could see that the hospital took this death very seriously.

No one can bring your baby back, but if the same circumstances recur, hopefully action will now be taken to try to prevent a similar death.

“I hope that gives you some comfort.”

Donna Brayford, Quality and Risk Manager at Royal Stoke Maternity Centre, conducted a root cause analysis after Addison’s death.

The Trust is now implementing an action plan of “systemic” changes.

This includes the mandatory presence of a consultant obstetrician for morning and evening rounds and an immediate escalation process for staff to escalate their concerns if they feel that they have not been addressed.

Ms Brayford said: “The first major cause was the lack of personal counselor presence on the ward round.

“We have now made the presence of a consultant obstetrician at the morning and evening rounds a mandatory standard, in line with national guidelines.

“Second, all mothers whose care is to be de-escalated should be evaluated by a consultant midwife. They will remain in the maternity ward until seen by a consultant obstetrician.’

She continued, “We are also introducing a jump escalation process. When the support worker escalated her concerns to the midwives, she felt her concerns were not being addressed.

Human remains found at Amazon have been confirmed as those of a missing British journalist

Human remains found at Amazon have been confirmed as those of a missing British journalist

“She might now jump to the next responsible person to escalate her concerns. There are now posters all over the ward that you can turn to if you don’t agree with a decision.”

Another factor contributing to Addison’s death was also a lack of staff in the antenatal ward.

Ms Brayford told the Inquiry that 26 Band 5 midwives and five international midwives have since been recruited by the Trust and a further 20 are expected to be recruited by the end of the year.

Human remains found at Amazon have been confirmed as those of a missing British journalist

Human remains found at Amazon have been confirmed as those of a missing British journalist

Due to the disagreements between the midwives and the maternity nurse, a referral was also made to the head nurse to decide if further management investigations were needed.

The cause of death was given as: 1a) E.coli sepsis, 1(b) chorioamnionitis and in part 2 prolonged premature rupture of membranes.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/18/midwife-said-distressed-mum-to-be-was-faking-it-before-baby-died-16851825/ The midwife said the distraught mother-to-be faked it before the baby died

Justin Scacco

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