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Baby died after mum waited to see doctor, inquest told


A one-day old baby died from pneumonia after his mother waited three days to be seen by an obstetrician after her waters broke, a coroner said.

Aayam Chongbang was delivered by Caesarean at Medway Maritime Hospital, Kent on 2 August, 2022, but died the following day.

At an inquest into his death, London West assistant coroner, Catherine Wood, said staff shortages significantly affected the service the hospital trust was able to provide.

Ms Chongbang, who worked as a clinician at the hospital, was sent home from the hospital when her waters broke at 42 weeks.

She came back the next day, before spending three days in hospital without seeing an obstetrician, the court heard.

On 2 August, Ms Chongbang developed a high temperature and showed signs that her baby was suffering from an infection.

A junior doctor prescribed antibiotics but no senior doctors were available, while midwives had assumed that an obstetrician had seen her, the court was told.

Aayam was subsequently born with breathing difficulties and there were delays getting him to the special care baby unit because his mother had tested positive for Covid.

Ms Wood said: “There was a failure of communication between members of the team in a significantly stretched service. It is very clear a lot of these problems were down to a lack of staff. Earlier delivery would have made a difference.”

She said the Medway NHS Foundation Trust had been working to improve services and a Prevention of Future Deaths report would be sent to the health secretary.