Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Video links brought in after tragedy of baby Nevaeh’s death

Forfar Sheriff Court.
Forfar Sheriff Court.

Tayside’s community midwifery units will be given life-saving video link technology after the tragic death of a newborn at an Angus facility.

Nevaeh Stewart died soon after she was born in a birthing pool at Montrose Community Midwifery Unit (CMU) in 2012.

Although a postmortem identified her cause of death as hypoxia, or lack of oxygen in the body’s tissues, neither this nor an NHS Tayside investigation determined the reason behind a “catastrophic collapse” 90 minutes after her birth.

A fatal accident inquiry at Forfar Sheriff Court heard the health board is bringing video conferencing in to help Ninewells Hospital experts view sick babies at Arbroath and Montrose, with cover also being drafted in to Perth’s hospital-based CMU.

Dr Martin Ward Platt, a specialist neonatal consultant at Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle, said the telephone contact between Ninewells and Montrose CMU on September 30 would have been aided by such visual diagnosis.

The expert witness said: “If you can imagine someone looking down a video link at Nevaeh at 15 minutes — pale, floppy and unresponsive — a very plausible response to that would be 999. Just do it.

“That baby is sick and it could go badly.

“The response could have been very different to what it was.

“(The report) says telephone contact should be maintained until the video link is established — don’t just wait for the Rolls Royce technology, use what you have.”

Dr Ward Platt’s report for NHS Tayside hypothesised that blood loss in the baby could have caused “compensatory” mechanisms such as drawing fluid into the circulation, to stimulate the baby’s breathing and pulse, while creating the baby’s “pale” appearance.

He praised the midwifery team at Montrose for their “assiduousness” in Nevaeh’s care, but conceded that no one could have known the otherwise healthy baby’s pallid appearance hid a root problem.

Dr Ward Platt continued: “In a hospital, within 10 or 15 minutes she’d be in special care. The baby was clearly not right in terms of tone, consciousness and pallor.

“The midwives had quite correctly identified things weren’t right, it’s just that there’s very little to be done but call for help and look for any changes as they wait.

“There was no human factor or human error in the chain of causation that led to Nevaeh’s death.

“The reason for Nevaeh’s poor condition at birth is a matter of speculation. There is not enough evidence to be definitive.”

The inquiry, before Sheriff Pino Di Emidio, continues on Thursday.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]