Clinical Negligence & Catastrophic Injury Solicitors
Baby died after delayed caesarean.
The son of actor Jamie King died when staff at an NHS hospital decided to delay his delivery and sent his mother home, a coroner has said.
Benjamin King died from severe brain damage five days after being born in an emergency caesarean section at the Royal United hospital (RUH) in Bath, Somerset.
He is likely to have been deprived of oxygen after his mother, Canadian actor Tamara Podemski, 39, had her C-section delayed by 12 hours.
Senior coroner for Avon, Maria Voisin, said the decision to reschedule the procedure and send Podemski home to Frome, in Somerset, resulted in Benjamin’s death.
After the inquest, it emerged that Voisin has contacted police about allegations that the hospital trust altered staff witness statements for the hearing.
A spokesman for Avon and Somerset police said: “We can confirm that the coroner has contacted us regarding this matter.”
Reaching a narrative conclusion, Maria Voisin said she would be writing to the trust with the aim of preventing future deaths.
The coroner said: “Benjamin King’s mother attended hospital on May 4. It was a high-risk pregnancy. She was 14 days overdue and there had been an antenatal trace that was abnormal.
“Benjamin’s birth was appropriately planned as a category three C-section for that day. A decision was made to delay that delivery to the following day. This decision, together with sending his mum home, resulted in Benjamin being born in a poor condition and his subsequent death.”
In her letter to the trust, the coroner will raise the need for a clear birthing plan, with risks and advice for parents, for all mothers delivering a baby after a previous C-section.
She will ask for staff to make clear notes for category three C-sections, including time of delivery and whether the mother should remain in hospital until then.
The coroner halted an inquest into Benjamin’s death in November after allegations that statements had been altered by the hospital trust. She said: “I remain very concerned about this very serious matter.”
Independent and internal investigations into the allegations are continuing.
Mr King said the coroner had informed him that the matter had been reported to police, and he hoped for a “thorough investigation”. He said: “We will continue our fight for justice for our Benjamin and we will make sure that his story is told.”
Director of nursing and midwifery at the Royal United hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Helen Blanchard, said improvements had been made to hospital systems as a result of the child’s death and the trust would look at the coroner’s findings.
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