Breech baby decapitated ‘when doctor pulled legs’ during delivery
A CONSULTANT gynaecologist caused a premature baby to be accidentally decapitated during delivery, a medical tribunal has heard.
Dr Vaishnavy Laxman, 41, should have given the 30-year old woman an emergency caesarean section as the infant was in a breech position, but instead tried to carry out a standard delivery, it was claimed.
The hearing at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester heard how Dr Laxman urged the patient to push, while the practitioner pulled the baby’s legs.
The incident happened on March 16, 2014, when Dr Laxman was working at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, with a team of doctors.
The tribunal heard the mother’s waters had broken early, at 25 weeks. The mother, named as Patient A, told the hearing it was her first birth. She said: “I tried to get off the bed but they pulled me back three times and just said they had to get the baby out. They twice tried to cut my cervix and nobody told me they were going to do it. There was no anaesthetic.
“I said to them: ‘It doesn’t feel right, stop it, what’s going on, I don’t want to do it’, but nobody responded to me in any way. It was like chaos and I was scared.”
The hearing was told Dr Laxman decided on a standard delivery. Charles
‘She did not intend to harm you or harm your baby and she offers her apologies in every possible way’
Garside QC, representing the General Medical Council, said: “She failed to perform a caesarean section without general anaesthetic at a time when speed was needed. New babies are fragile, but this tiny baby was more fragile, and being pulled or twisted could do a lot more damage.”
Dr Laxman, who faces being struck off the medical register, denies contributing to the death of the baby.
Gerard Boyle QC, her lawyer, addressed the mother during the hearing and told her: “Dr Laxman has asked me to say she is so very sorry and deeply saddened for the outcome of your baby. She knows that no amount of words can or will soften your pain but she is hoping that knowing that what she was trying to do was her very best to deliver your baby quickly and she had best intentions at heart.”
He added: “She did not intend to harm you or harm your baby and she offers her apologies in every possible way. She hopes at some point in time that will make you feel in a way, slightly better.”
The hearing continues.