Baby death could have been avoided if she was born 30 minutes earlier

30 minutes cost newborn’s life at scandal-hit hospital: Devastated mother discovers death of her four-day-old daughter could have been avoided if she had been born half an hour earlier

  • Becca Janes was plagued by guilty after her newborn baby died at four days old  
  • But the 32-year-old later found out Hallie-Rae’s death could have been avoided 
  • At least 15 babies died due to potentially avoidable errors at East Kent Hospitals

For months, Becca Janes was plagued by guilt after her baby Hallie-Rae died at four days old. 

But she later learned that the tragedy at a scandal-hit hospital could have been avoided if her daughter had been monitored properly and born just half an hour earlier. 

The 32-year-old sued East Kent Hospitals after experts told her Hallie-Rae would have survived with better care. 

Miss Janes and her partner Adam Leek, 37, are one of the families who have been left distraught by failings at the trust. 

It is at the centre of a major independent inquiry after at least 15 babies died due to potentially avoidable errors. 

Becca Janes and Adam Leek’s son Kyle kisses three-day-old Hallie-Rae on the head at William Harvey Hospital, a day later little Hallie passed away

It took Miss Janes and Mr Leek two years to receive a formal apology and an admission of liability following Hallie-Rae’s death in April 2017. 

Miss Janes said: ‘I’d rather have my daughter than any amount of money. ‘It makes me angry, so angry, to think I’ve lost a child and I’m missing out on all her milestones. 

‘For a long time I thought it was some-thing I did because I was the one that was pregnant. 

‘It wasn’t until I read the experts’ reports which said that if she had been born half an hour earlier she would be here today that I stopped blaming myself.’ 

The time was crucial as the baby’s condition would have been better if she had been born sooner. 

Miss Janes, who is also mother to Kyle, five, and Lillie-Rae, two, had been placed under consultant-led care during her pregnancy because of high blood pressure. 

But she was not seen by a consultant when she went into labour at William Harvey Hospital, Ashford, Kent, on April 3, 2017. 

Midwives struggled to find a good heart rate for Hallie-Rae on the cardiotocography machine but they did not put a clip, a fetal scalp electrode, on her head to get a more accurate reading. 

Miss Janes, who is also mother to Kyle, five, and Lillie-Rae, two, had been placed under consultant-led care during her pregnancy because of high blood pressure. But she was not seen by a consultant when she went into labour 

Her heart rate had been abnormally high before she was born but this was not identified at the time and a senior doctor was not called. 

By the time Hallie-Rae was delivered naturally, six hours after Miss Janes was admitted to hospital, she showed ‘no signs of life’. 

Miss Janes added: ‘She was blue so they whisked her away to resuscitate. It took them 22 minutes to get her heart beating again but by then the damage was done.’ 

The baby had suffered irreversible brain damage so Miss Janes and Mr Leek, who is in the Army, made the heartbreaking decision to turn off her life support machine four days later. 

Four-day-old Hallie-Rae died at William Harvey Hospital, in Ashford, Kent, back in 2017 

‘I couldn’t get over the fact that she was a full-term baby,’ said Miss Janes, who had worked as a domestic assistant at the hospital for 15 years. 

‘There was nothing wrong with her. ‘I feel so angry that my kids have missed out on a sibling and I’ve missed out on a daughter.’ 

An internal inquiry concluded the monitoring was not sufficient and it was ‘possible’ Hallie-Rae’s death could have been avoided. 

But Miss Janes, of Ashford, Kent, had unanswered questions and pursued a negligence claim. 

The trust finally admitted liability in July 2019 and settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. 

It has told the family’s lawyer there were missed opportunities to check Hallie-Rae’s wellbeing by using a foetal scalp electrode or seeking advice from a doctor. 

This would have meant ‘delivery would have been expedited’ and she would ‘have been born without any injury’.

Source: Read Full Article