A newborn baby died in his parent’s arms after hospital turned the heavily pregnant mother away as the staff did not think she was ready to give birth.
25-year-old Adele Thomas was turned away from Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr Birth Centre three times while in labor in July 2018, and was told to “take a walk to Tesco” as she was not in sufficient pain or dilated enough.
“Initially being turned away by staff was really scary for me because I knew how far gone I was and how quick things were progressing,” said Thomas.
“And when they told me to walk to Tesco, which is a fair way, to help things progress, well, I just thought that was stupid.”
She was finally admitted on her fourth attempt, but the baby remained trapped in the birth canal for 35 minutes starved of oxygen while the two midwives at the unit argued.
The baby, named Zak-Ezra, was then picked up “by his arms and legs” and taken to the resuscitation room where Thomas and her partner waited for a frantic half hour before being told about what is going on.
Zak was later on rushed to the Royal Gwent Hospital, but despite the medic’s best efforts to save him, he died two days later.
Thomas and her partner Stephen Carter remained unaware of what really happened to their son until they read a report published in early 2019.
According to the findings compiled by Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, which manages the unit in charge of baby Zak, the two doctors who helped discovered a feeling of “disinterest” and a “lack of urgency” in the unit.
The findings also revealed that the two midwives was not able to properly monitor baby Zak’s heart rate, did not cooperate with each other, and had been quarreling before stopping the baby’s resuscitation early.
“The attitude was very laid back,” said Thomas. “There was no care, I felt like I didn’t matter to her.”
The couple are now preparing for the inquest of their son’s death, which is scheduled for February 2021.
“I still get pain from that today.”