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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Manchester Hospital to compensate Indian-origin father over death of newborn son

A Manchester hospital has agreed to pay compensation to an Indian origin man for the death of his newborn son.

It follows a four-year long campaign for justice by Kamaljeet Singh, whose baby son Maninder died of a brain injury at St Mary's Hospital in October 2008.

The baby was born under bed sheets while her mother had been numbed with an epidural. 

An inquest into the death heard how the baby was already in a poor condition, but a delay in staff noticing that he had been born and acting to resuscitate him meant he suffered further, avoidable injury.

He suffered severe brain damage and died a few months later on May 4, 2009.

"This has been an extremely difficult four years for my family. We lost a much loved son under horrific circumstances," the 35-year-old father told the Manchester Evening News.

"We have fought so hard and we waited so long to receive an apology and an admission that more could have been done to save him. No amount of money in the world could ever replace what we have lost but we are now finally in position to move forward with our lives. We feel that in some small way justice has been done," he added.

Kamaljeet's wife, Geeta, died aged 32 of multiple organ failure, septicaemia and diabetes just months after the birth of the couple's second child in January 2010.

Manchester coroner Nigel Meadows recorded eight failings by the hospital in their care of both Geeta and Maninder. Geeta, who suffered from diabetes and a range of other health problems, was known to be a "high risk" case when she was admitted to the hospital in October 2008.

A decision had been made to induce her at 34 weeks amid concerns the baby's growth had slowed. The midwife administered a drug to induce the baby but Geeta's pain worsened.

She consented to an epidural for the pain – but the consultant anaesthetist first performed a "spinal block" so she would sit still enough to have the epidural. This, the inquest heard, amounted to a double dose of pain relief while midwives did not regularly check Geeta's labour progress and she delivered Maninder while numb from the epidural.

When midwives went to monitor the baby's heart rate they pulled back the cover and discovered he had already been born. Maninder was given immediate resuscitation but suffered severe brain damage, developed severe respiratory problems and died six months later.

Kathryn Murphy, Head of Nursing and Midwifery at Saint Mary's Hospital said, "We have recognised there were failings surrounding the care of Maninder Singh in 2008 and we accept that this fell below the level of care we normally provide; as a result we have reviewed our practices and systems and implemented a number of changes."

"We would like to once again offer our sincere condolences to the Singh family and express our profound regret for Maninder's death," she said.

- Press Trust of India


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