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  • Writer's picturePatrick Moriarty

HSE apologises to parents of baby girl who died after birth

A Kilkenny hospital has apologised to the parents of a baby girl who died shortly after her birth. St Luke's Hospital apologised unreservedly to Sharon Dowling and Brian Crowe from Co Kilkenny, over the failings in the care given to their baby, Ali, who died almost four years ago. The High Court approved a settlement of €200,000.

Sharon Dowling and Brian Crowe's first baby was born at St Luke's Hospital in Co Kilkenny on 17 January 2015. The pregnancy had been normal, but baby Ali was in a very distressed state when born. She was transferred to Holles Street Hospital in Dublin, where she died on 1 February as a result of a severe brain injury.

The hospital admitted last month that there was a failure to recognise abnormalities in the readings from the foetal heart monitor. Lawyers for Ms Dowling and Mr Crowe claimed an obstetrician should have been called earlier and a decision should have been taken to intervene and deliver the baby by caesarean section.

They said the monitor was removed when Ms Dowling was moved to the delivery suite and there was a delay in restarting it. In October 2015, a letter from the hospital claimed a review had determined that what happened was unforseeable and was not caused by any act or omission on the part of the staff at the hospital. However, in a letter to the couple today, read in court by the HSE's Senior Counsel Simon Mills, the hospital's manager apologised unreservedly for the failures in the care given to baby Ali in the course of her birth and expressed her deepest sympathy to the family for her death.

Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon said she was happy to approve the settlement of €200,000.

She said she knew no words from her could console parents who had lost a first child in such circumstances, and no money would ever replace their lovely child. Ms Justice O'Hanlon said she was glad an apology had been given and wished them the best for the future.

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