Mother who lost baby twin at birth tells court: 'It was the most helpless moment of my life'

By Louise Roseingrave

A midwife had to run to a staff room to trigger an emergency call following the birth of a baby boy at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin Coroner’s Court has heard.

Baby Ethan Carson was born unresponsive at 36 weeks gestation on September 11 2015 and was pronounced dead 15 minutes later, while his identical twin brother Andrew survived.

The infant’s parents had picked out two babygros for their boys as they waited to be called into theatre for a Caeserean section.

“We were both terrified and excited in anticipation of meeting our boys,” their mother Barbara Carson said.

The first twin, baby Andrew was born at 2.33pm. He did not cry immediately, his mother said. Baby Ethan followed but he was described by Obstetrician Dr Maeve Eogan as ‘in a bad way.’

“We were stunned and shocked. We realised quickly there was no pediatric doctor present in the theatre for Ethan. I was crying and kept asking ‘Where was the doctor?’” Mrs Carson said

“I could hear all the chaos and people running around. It was the most helpless moment of my life,” she said.


Midwife Sarah Campbell said a nurse present was instructed to trigger the emergency ‘baby collapse bleep’ immediately after baby Ethan’s delivery.

“I saw the nurse pick up the theatre 2 phone and then put it down and leave the room. I was notified after the case had ended that the phone was out of order,” she said. She began chest compressions on baby Ethan.

“I asked the pediatrician present for assistance but twin one, Andrew was also needing urgent attention,” she said. When the nurse returned to theatre and said the baby bleep had not been put out, Ms Campbell left theatre and ran to the lobby to get help.

“There was at least one anesthetic nurse and two midwives there (in the staff room). I requested immediate help,” she said.

Despite resuscitation efforts, baby Ethan was pronounced dead at 14.53pm. Baby Andrew was transferred to intensive care and went on to make a full recovery.

“We are left struggling to understand how this tragedy happened and why did baby Ethan die,” Mrs Carson said.

The court heard that the devastated mother kept her baby with her until he was taken away to the morgue.

The inquest continues tomorrow with evidence from Obstetrician Dr Eogan and pathologist Dr Emma Doyle.

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