Shocking incidents in maternity units reported to hospitals trust board

A new mum lost seven litres of blood after giving birth at Basildon Hospital and needed urgent surgery to remove her uterus, it has been revealed.

The Mid and South Essex Hospital Trust, which includes Southend, Basildon and Broomfield hospitals, has reported 15 serious incidents in maternity units during a six-month period

The shocking incidents occurred between August and January, and have been published as part of a report to the trust’s board.

Five of the incidents across the trust are the subject of an investigation. They include stillbirths, birth injuries, medication errors, a haemorrhage which resulted in a hysterectomy and a neonatal death.

As well as the mum who required a hysterectomy, the report revealed the parents of the child who died at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford following a caesarean section were not involved in any decisions taken because of COVID restrictions.

A post-mortem later revealed the baby was struggling before the mother went into labour, leaving the child too weak to withstand birth.

The trust said that, despite the mother being identified as high-risk, “staff continued to view her as low-risk, this meant that the baby was not monitored in accordance with the guidance for managing high risk women in labour.”

Other incidents saw an epidural line attached to an IV line and insulin being wrongly administered.

The trust said there were “missed opportunities to refer for fetal growth scans, missed opportunities to undertake a bedside ultrasound scan to determine fetal position prior to performing an instrumental delivery, and missed opportunities to recognise signs of maternal infection” in relation to the incidents.

The Care Quality Commission has rated the trust as Requires Improvement.

An investigation followed the death of Gabriela Pintilie, 36, who lost six litres of blood after giving birth at Basildon Hospital in 2019.

An investigation is also being carried out into the death of a woman at Basildon Hospital in the late stages of pregnancy earlier this year.

A spokesman for Mid and South Essex NHS Trust, said: “The trust has a strong reporting culture, and we share and investigate any incidents to continually improve our care. The safety of women and babies using our maternity services is always our priority.”

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter