Arti Shah successfully concluded an Inquest in February 2017 on behalf of the parents of Sebastian Harrold, who was born with severe brain injury at Nottingham City Hospital in November 2015 and sadly died in January 2016, aged just 7 weeks' old. Arti is now pursuing a civil claim against the hospital Trust.
The Coroner delivered a narrative verdict, commenting that Sebastian "should have been delivered earlier, and if he had been, it is likely that he would have avoided the final period of severe hypoxia…….In those circumstances, it is likely that he would have been born healthy". She also concluded that it was this brain injury that made him susceptible to infection that caused his death.
Sebastian's mother Stephanie and her mother, a midwife at the hospital, were both called to give evidence at the Inquest concerning the repeated administration of Syntocinon without consent, and the failure to listen to Stephanie's repeated requests for a Caesarean section. Already worried about Sebastian's decreasing heart rate, Stephanie was adamant she did not want to be given the drug used to speed up labour. Doctors ignored her wishes and not only administered Syntocinon for several hours but increased it, before she had to undergo an emergency C-section.
Despite continually telling midwives and doctors in the labour suite that she could not feel Sebastian moving, and pointing out that his heart rate was clearly decelerating during contractions, they refused her repeated pleas for a Caesarean. After almost 12 hours, Stephanie was finally rushed into theatre for an emergency C-section. Sebastian was still born and had to be resuscitated.
He was admitted to Intensive Care, and received cooling treatment. He remained in hospital in a very poorly condition, suffering from fits and requiring round the clock care. Doctors warned Stephanie and Jon that Sebastian's brain damage was extensive, and it was unlikely he would survive. In January 2016, the Harrolds brought Sebastian home. He sadly died 2 weeks later.
Representatives from the hospital and the Trust were at the Inquest. Despite the narrative verdict, the Trust have not apologised to the family, and no admissions relating to Stephanie and Sebastian's care have been made.
"Stephanie's concerns regarding the administration and increase in Syntocinon were ignored, as were her requests for a Caesarean. This is yet another case where maternal wishes were not taken into account, and which has resulted in a tragic outcome for everyone involved. She was simply not listened to by medical staff at the hospital and felt bullied and intimidated."
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