Daily Mail news story
Doctor told mum Ellen Bellamy to be he mistakenly misdiagnosed from a scan that her unborn baby had died – because she had ‘excess weight on her stomach’.
But couple say they believe the real reason for the mistake is specialist was not working on a Sunday.
Fortunately baby Eliza was born alive. But the hospital has now apologised following the trauma.
An NHS hospital has apologised to the parents of a baby who they declared dead – and was then to their amazement was born alive four hours later.
Ellen Bellamy 33, and her husband, both teachers, were forced to make agonising calls to family telling them their baby girl had died in the uterus after two doctors failed to find a heartbeat on scans.
Astonishingly one doctor later blamed Ellen’s ‘excess stomach weight’ for his mistake.
But due to the error, the couple were then forced to wait for four hours for the operating theatre to become free when doctors could deliver their daughter, who was expected to be stillborn.
However, panic ensued when their little girl Eliza was born alive and no paediatricians were on standby.
Their daughter, who needed to spend some days in special care, is now a healthy six month old baby.
But the couple claim it was only a miracle that Eliza survived – and the mistake happened because it was a Sunday and the sonographer wasn’t working.
Their nightmare began when Ellen was admitted to hospital with heavy bleeding at 35 weeks. Because the sonographer didn’t work at the weekends it was left to two doctors to carry out scans. When these failed to find a heartbeat the doctors told the heartbroken parents, who also have an elder daughter, their unborn baby had died.
Staff asked the couple to call relatives to bring in a shawl to wrap up their dead baby and they were forced to wait four hours until a theatre became free. Eventually, because Ellen was bleeding so heavily (which would have made a natural delivery impossible) she was given a caesarean under a general anaesthetic. As husband Chris sat outside, the alarms rang and he believed both his wife and their baby had died.
He then realised the baby had been born alive. Chaos ensued as there was no crash team in the room ready for the baby’s birth.
Five minutes after a team was rushed in a midwife told him when doctors opened up his wife, there had been a terrible mistake and the baby was in fact very much alive.
Ellen and Chris were obviously thrilled but then angry that when Ellen was first admitted, a caesarean had not been carried out straightaway. They feel very lucky little Eliza was born ok.
The couple came to Featureworld to highlight problems they believe can happen when specialist staff are not on at the weekend. They believe had a sonographer carried out the scan the mistake would not have happened.
As a result the hospital, which has apologised, says it has changed some of its procedures and learnt from the incident.
Ellen’s story has now been placed with a top mag and she will shortly be appearing on TV!
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