Our specialist medical negligence team represented the family of Baby Tadhg Doyle who was stillborn on the 5th of June 2016 at Cavan General Hospital.
Baby Tadhg’s Mum was under the care of the obstetric staff in Cavan General Hospital where she had attended for antenatal care throughout her pregnancy. Ms. Doyle had complained of a number of episodes of reduced fetal movement during her pregnancy and had two admissions to the Hospital to check the wellbeing of baby Tadhg.
Ms. Doyle alleges that she was given conflicting advice by the hospital regarding the number of fetal movements which she should expect over a particular period of time.
She was also scheduled to have a scan of her baby at approx. 35 weeks plus 2 days gestation but despite attending for her appointment, this crucial scan was never performed. Approximately 1 week later, Ms. Doyle reattended the hospital and enquired about the size of her baby but again, a growth scan was not carried out. Had the growth scans been performed they would have shown a drop off in Baby Tadhg’s growth and it is alleged that Baby Tadhg would have been delivered early and would have been born alive. A number of days later, Ms. Doyle attended the Hospital with contraction like pains and reduced fetal movements. A scan was carried out which confirmed that tragically, Baby Tadhg had passed away.
Following Baby Tadhg’s death, a postmortem took place and the autopsy report indicated that the cause of death was hypoxia (the medical term for lack of oxygen), due to placental failure secondary to chronic active villitis.
Cavan General Hospital suggested that a genetic issue was the cause of the baby’s death.
An inquest took place on the 19th of November 2021 in order to ascertain the cause of Baby Tadhg’s death. Witnesses for the Hospital admitted that a growth scan should have been carried out and had this been done, a drop off in growth would have been detected. In addition, the pathology evidence provided at the inquest confirmed that genetics did not play a role in Baby Tadhg’s death.
The Coroner returned a verdict of medical misadventure which caused Baby Tadhg’s death. The Coroner included, in her verdict, a recommendation that a clear system of communication be established by the Hospital regarding plans of care for expectant mothers. This recommendation will be sent to the HSE in an effort to ensure that lessons are learned from the very sad death of Baby Tadhg.