Their baby dies from birth injury, no apology from hospital

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Their baby dies of birth injury, no hospital apologies

Manish and Swati Patel say they never had a chance to confront the doctor who delivered their son about what happened during the delivery, despite repeated requests. Their baby died two days after birth.

Swati and Manish Patel, a couple from Brampton, are awaiting an apology from the hospital where their infant, Anant, was seriously injured at birth in late August 2021. didn't survive, and the grieving couple and a patient advocacy organization wonder why it's so hard to get a fine from the healthcare facility.

The Patels' son, Anant, died two days after he was born at Brampton Civic Hospital.

His death was caused by complications from an injury blunt force in the head related to birth, according to the findings of a coroner's examination. This head injury included a scalp laceration, extensive bleeding between the baby's scalp and skull, and bleeding outside of his brain.

Throughout my pregnancy he was completely healthy, says Swati Patel. We do our best to meet with the doctor who took care of the delivery, to ask the questions, but that never happened.

Instead, the couple met with Civic Hospital management six months after their son's death to review a quality of care committee review conducted by the health system. But the report did not mention the birth doctor and largely focused on potential issues with their baby's postnatal care.

The meeting and the The review fell short of the accountability and apology the couple say they expect – which a patient protection specialist says is often hard to come by in Canada given fears of legal ramifications.

It really shouldn't be that hard to get an apology, says Kathleen Finlay, CEO of the Toronto-based Center for Patient Protection. That's all most people want. They are not looking to make a lot of money from a huge litigation settlement.

William Osler Health System, which operates Brampton Civic Hospital, states in a statement to CBC that it cannot provide specific details or comments due to its policies and to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the family.

William Osler Health System extends its sincere condolences to the family for their loss, spokeswoman Emma Murphy writes.

We have a robust review process in place quality of care to assess patient care. This process includes engaging with the family throughout the comprehensive review and providing ongoing family support.

Two days after their baby died, a hospital social worker called the Patel couple and offered condolences and emotional support.

In a statement, the governing body of Brampton Civic Hospital says it cannot comment on the details of the family's case, but offers its condolences.

The quality of care report indicates that vacuum assisted delivery may have contributed to subgaleal hemorrhage/subdural hematoma. This is the only time a potential problem with the birth of the baby is mentioned.

This type of birth involves the doctor placing a small cup on the top of a baby's head to use suction to help extract the new baby. -born when labor is not progressing.

The Patels filed a complaint against the obstetrics physician with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the College. Ontario (OMCO) in January. Their complaint will go to a committee later this month to determine whether disciplinary action against the doctor is warranted.

Radio-Canada and CBC are not naming the doctor as no malpractice allegation has been brought against him by the college at this time.

In their complaint to the CPSO, the couple allege that the doctor caused an injury to their baby's scalp during labor and failed to notify the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of the incident. injury and blood loss nor obtained informed consent for vacuum extraction, nor did he properly perform the birthing procedure that caused the baby's injury, and that he did not meet with the family to discuss what had happened despite requests.

Hospital records reviewed by CBC include notes and doctor's reports. In these records, the doctor says the risks and benefits of vacuum assisted delivery were explained to the couple and Swati Patel agreed to do it.

The doctor's notes also indicate that there was bleeding observed at the time of cupping after removal of the electrode from the scalp – it is unclear whether ;there was a detachment or if blood was coming from the vagina and the doctor was careful not to pull hard because of difficulty maintaining suction with the plunger.

The doctor took the electrode out of the scalp and [the doctor] put the vacuum on and was trying to suction with the plunger. At that time, I saw a lot of blood, recalls Manish Patel.

Later, when I described to SickKids Hospital what I saw, the doctors at SickKids told me that this blood was actually the baby's blood.

The Patels say their baby was very pale when he was born last August 29 and, according to records, had low respiratory effort, so he was taken to the NICU.

Anant Patel was taken to NICU from Brampton Civic Hospital prior to be transported to SickKids in Toronto, where he lost his life on August 31, 2021.

The William Osler Health System regional transport team could not provide quick transport of the baby to Toronto SickKids Hospital, so the NICU team tried from figuring out what was wrong with the newborn while receiving directions over the phone from SickKids until the transport team arrives, according to the quality review of the care.

The report goes on to state that early identification of a possible head bleed (later determined to be from the scalp lesion in the post-mortem report) was also delayed because a measurement protocol head circumference was not monitored as staff prioritized the baby's breathing.

In the future, the quality of care committee recommended reinforce protocol with frontline staff and monthly audits to monitor compliance.

The couple say their baby's care team didn't determine their son needed blood until several hours after he was born, when the specialist transport team arrived, picked up care and ordered a blood transfusion.

As soon as they transplanted the blood to where the scalp electrode was inserted [ this type of electrodes is sometimes used to measure the infant's heart rate], the blood started to come out of this wound, and then they knew that the baby was injured, Swati Patel told CBC.< /p>

The autopsy report confirms that during the transfer, a subgaleal hemorrhage was noted as well as bleeding from the scalp laceration, the latter resulting in several absorbent pads being soaked in blood.

Tests and imaging at SickKids after Anant's transfer revealed the extent of the little boy's irreversible brain damage and the severity of the blood loss: his heart was unable to pump enough blood to his body. x27;other parts of the body, causing his organs to fail.

The ventilator the infant was connected to was disconnected and he died on August 31. Her mother says she is still haunted by what happened and hopes that by speaking out she can prevent such a tragedy from happening. #x27;others.

I can't sleep at night, she says. I dream that I am in the hospital looking for the baby.

Kathleen Finlay of the Center for Patient Advocacy believes an apology can be a powerful healing tool for patients and their families, without necessarily putting Canadian hospitals and physicians at risk legal.

In Ontario, for example, we have had apology legislation for more than 10 years, which ensures that an apology cannot be used in legal proceedings, Finlay points out.

This is never considered an admission of guilt, but rather an admission of regret and grief.

Most other provinces and territories have similar laws.

The Center has also advocated for hospitals to appoint compassionate leaders to ensure that patients are listened to and treated in a way that takes into account their trauma.

We really need to find much better, faster, simpler and more effective healing solutions so that families can move on, continues Kathleen Finlay. This is really important.

For their part, the Patels are awaiting the outcome of their complaint against the OMCO.

I will do my best to do everything until justice is served, assures Swati Patel.

With information from Nicole Brockbank of CBC

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