Hospital monitored mother's heart rate rather than that of baby who died

A hospital has admitted negligence after staff mistakenly monitored a mother's heart rate instead of her baby's.

Thursday, 1st June 2017, 6:37 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:29 pm
Danielle Johnston and her husband Rob Pye and their baby Sadie Pye

Baby Sadie Pye was starved of oxygen at birth and died hours later.

Her mother Danielle Johnston, 31, had her labour induced at the Royal Bolton Hospital in June 2011 after developing gestational diabetes at about eight months pregnant.

She said midwives noticed the baby's heart rate shoot up after her waters were broken, but said it went back to normal about 30 minutes later.

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Danielle Johnston

She said: "A doctor came in to see me and said he would come back to check on Sadie's heart rate but left me with the trainee midwife. He didn't come back.

"I was in lots of pain so had an epidural but I kept going in and out of consciousness.

"It was weird and I knew something wasn't right. A midwife noticed this and seemed to panic. She was looking at the CTG monitor (to monitor the baby's heartbeat) and expressed concern."

It was later revealed staff were mistakenly monitoring Ms Johnston's heart rate instead of the baby's.

Sadie Pye

Experts found that had Sadie's heart rate been monitored correctly, doctors would have realised she was in distress and could have delivered her earlier.

Ms Johnston, from Salford, said the delivery was delayed further when midwives were unable to cut the umbilical cord.

She said: "The midwives were trying to cut the cord and it was all really traumatic.

"The student midwife was told to cut the cord but she said she had never done it. Another midwife tried to cut it and couldn't do it. It seemed to take a lifetime and I felt so helpless."

Danielle Johnston and her husband Rob Pye

Sadie was later transferred to Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral, after doctors said she had minor brain damage, but on the way Mrs Johnston and husband Rob Pye were told she had suffered a cardiac arrest.

At Arrowe Park, doctors switched off her life support and the couple stayed with Sadie until she passed away.

Ms Johnston, who has since had another daughter, Bobbi, said: "Her death and what happened didn't hit me until I went home without my baby. All the stuff we'd bought for her was there and I just wanted to curl up and die."

Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has since admitted the care given to the mother and baby was negligent and settled a legal case brought by the family for an undisclosed sum.

Danielle Johnston

Lauren Tully, a clinical negligence specialist from Slater and Gordon law firm, who represented the family, said: "Danielle and Rob have faced a long battle to get justice for Sadie and they are relieved it is finally at an end.

"It is deeply concerning that it wasn't just one thing but a catalogue of errors that contributed to her tragic death and that is why it is so important that the trust looks closely at what went wrong and what can be done to make sure this doesn't happen again."

A spokeswoman for the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust said: "We are deeply sorry for the circumstances that led to the sad death of Ms Johnston's daughter, Sadie.

"The trust carried out a full review into the care that Ms Johnston and her daughter received whilst they were patients at the hospital, and actions were identified and taken to minimise the risk of an incident of this nature happening again.

"We once again extend our apologies to the family for their loss."

Sadie Pye
Danielle Johnston and her husband Rob Pye