Inquest hears mistakes made in care of newborn baby who died in February 2013

Baby Darragh Byrne's father said his son looked lifeless and very quiet

Darragh Byrne, newborn baby, care, mistake, inquest, Coombe Hospital, Michael O'Connell, Marie Butler, Eoin Byrne

Coombe Woman and Infants University Hospital in Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

The father of a baby who died shortly after birth at the Coombe Hospital has told his inquest that his soon looked navy blue at birth.

Baby Darragh Byrne died from a lack of oxygen, or hypoxia, at the Coombe in February 2013.

The maternity hospital has admitted that mistakes were made in the baby's care, and has apologised to the Byrne family.

The consultant on duty at the time of Darragh's death has told Dublin Coroner's Court that there was evidence of an elevated heart-rate in the baby before an emergency section was carried out.

When Marie Butler's waters broke on Valentine's Day in 2013 at 35 weeks, she was admitted to the Coombe Hospital and told labour would be allowed progress naturally.

The following day, labour was progressing, albeit slowly, and Ms Butler was in significant pain.

Consultant on duty Michael O'Connell told Dublin Coroner's Court that the CTG monitoring the baby was difficult to read, and lost contact, but he admitted that snippets of the trace showed that the baby’s heart-rate was elevated.

Mr O'Connell said that further tests that could have provided more information on the baby's condition were not carried out and a Registrar should have been called, but this did not happen.

An emergency C-section was performed on Ms Butler, who told the court she was terrified, but excited to see her first baby.

Her husband, Eoin Byrne, said when the baby was delivered he knew something was wrong as he was navy blue, lifeless and very quiet.

Baby Darragh died five days later.

Following efforts by the family to have an inquest into their son's death, the hospital admitted failures in his care and apologised to his parents.

Counsel for the family says it is “extraordinary” that the hospital has not carried out a review in the three years following the death of a baby.

The inquest continues.