Tragic couple take action against Scottish hospital for the death of their baby

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A TRAGIC Scots couple claim their newborn son died after inexperienced staff failed to order an emergency caesarean section.

Tracy and Michael Bray tried for years to have a baby and were delighted to discover in October last year their third and final round of IVF treatment had been successful.

But the couple from East Wemyss, Fife, lost their son to asphyxiation just hours after he was born.

Tracy shared this picture of baby Matthew the day after his birth
Tracy shared this picture of baby Matthew the day after his birth

Tracy, 36, and Michael, 35, say Matthew was eight weeks premature, in the breech position and amniotic fluid was leaking.

The couple expected an emergency section to be carried out at the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, but Tracy went through a long and exhausting forceps delivery on February 26.

Matthew was delivered naturally but became stuck and was left without oxygen for ten minutes before forceps were used to get him out.

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Tracy was ecstatic to learn baby was a boy on Valentines Day this year

The youngster was resuscitated and rushed to intensive care but started to deteriorate and died in his father’s arms the very same day.

Tracy and Michael have lodged a formal complaint with NHS Fife who have launched an investigation.

Tracy said: “We were absolutely delighted when we underwent a third course of treatment and discovered we were pregnant.

“My pregnancy went really smoothly – I didn’t even have any morning sickness.”

On  Valentine’s Day this year, a 3D scan confirmed that their baby was a boy and everything was going well.

Tracy and Michael had tried for many years to have a baby and were on their last round of IVF
Tracy and Michael had tried for many years to have a baby and were on their last round of IVF

The following month, when Tracy was 32 weeks pregnant, she woke up in the middle of the night with excruciating cramps in her stomach before heading to the hospital.

The couple were placed on the consultant ward but there was none available and by the time they arrived, Tracy had already entered into active labour.

The youngster became trapped in the birth canal and went without oxygen for more than ten minutes until emergency procedures were used.

He only survived for 16 hours, with the cause of death through a post mortem shown as acute asphyxiation.

“We were devastated and couldn’t believe it, what that hospital have done to us is absolutely horrendous.” said Tracy.

Now the couple have begun taking action through the patient complaints system.

Tracy doesn't want anyone else to go through what her and her family have
Tracy doesn’t want anyone else to go through what her and her family have

“We are not looking for money as that won’t give us our baby back,” said Michael. “But if we can stop one other family going through the hell that we have then it will all be worth it.

“They robbed me and my family of my baby boy. He was our first child and now we have to live everyday and carry on without him.

“I do have five embryos left in storage but that’s not to say that I will ever get pregnant again.

“I just want someone to stand up and admit that they messed up and say sorry. Even the health secretary for Scotland fobbed me off saying I needed to speak to my community families officer.

“They need to change the procedure they have for mothers with breeched babies.

“There needs to be a consultant on the ward 24/7, not just when they’re called.

“We were supposed to be in the right place at the right time so to have to go through what we went through is just downright appalling.”

Michael had to say goodbye to his first son, who died in his arms exactly 16 hours after he was born
Michael had to say goodbye to his first son, who died in his arms exactly 16 hours after he was born

Tracy said that despite a meeting to discuss the post mortem results her questions on why she was not given an emergency Caesarean have not been answered.

Dr Jean Turner from Scotland Patients Association said: “The girl and her partner need to know what happened, what went wrong so that they can deal with their grief.

“It’s just disgraceful and they deserve answers.

“By the sounds of this pregnancy there was already cause for concern. With the baby being breech and having little amniotic fluid there should have been a procedure in place to deal with this.

“They knew about these causes for concern and clearly did not act on them. The person in charge should have made the decision.

“Things could have been done better and I’m glad the situation is being investigated.”

Dr Gordon Birnie, NHS Fife Medical Director for Acute Services said: “We are unable to comment on the detail of individual cases.

“I can confirm that the patient has been in contact with us and her concerns are being addressed.”

Elective caesarean section rates in Scotland have risen from 8.6% in 1976 to 25.4% in 2010.

The NHS choices website advises that sections are normally carried out when a normal birth could put the unborn baby at risk.

Several reasons are listed for giving an emergency c-section, including going into premature labour and your baby being in the breech position.

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