A newborn baby was left dying alone on a resuscitation table after doctors mistakenly gave him up for dead and medical staff ignored his gasps for breath, an inquest heard.
Baby Sebastian Sparrow revived himself an hour and a half after his parents were told by medics at the Royal Free Hospital that he had died. But Sebastian was too badly brain damaged to be saved, and died two days later after being transferred to University College Hospital. Coroner Mary Hassell was critical of several medical staff throughout last week’s inquest, and said that they must have realised the baby’s “agonal gasps” meant that he was “dying, and not dead”.
Sebastian was born by caesarean section on November 6 2013 after his mother, Sally Sparrow, experienced a prolonged labour. He was expected to be a healthy baby as no problems had been detected throughout the pregnancy. It was suggested during the inquest that he may have sustained brain damage during the caesarean delivery as it took three attempts by different obstetricians to deliver the baby.
In a statement, Mrs Sparrow, a solicitor, and her husband, Jamie, an accountant, said they were left with “no real understanding of what had happened” after the mistaken diagnosis of death.
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