Midlands Regional Hospital apologised in the High Court to a couple whose baby son died at the Portlaoise hospital nine years ago.
Little Dylan Franks died in the operating theatre not long after his birth on March 6, 2007.
The court yesterday heard that a huge distress for Dylan’s parents was the the fact at his inquest, HSE witnesses stated the cause of the baby boy’s death was chronic utero placental insufficiency and, and as a result, Dylan’s mother thought she was responsible because she had smoked during her pregnancy.
In the apology, Midlands Regional Hospital said it was aware of the Franks’ experience with them in relation to the death of their beloved son Dylan on March 6, 2007.
“We wish to express our sincere apologies for the failings which caused Dylan’s death.
“The hospital accepts responsibility for these failings which should not have happened,” the hospital said.
It added: “The hospital sincerely regrets the tragic consequences its failings have caused to you both and your family.”
The apology was read out in court as Dylan’s parents Aidan and Elsie Franks of Scart, Roscrea, Co Tipperary, settled their action against the HSE over the death of Dylan and also for nervous shock.
The terms of the settlement are confidential.
Counsel Oonagh McCrann told Mr Justice Kevin Cross in the High Court a number of opportunities were missed to deliver the baby and he should have been delivered earlier and members of the staff had indicated he was going to be delivered.
Counsel said it was only after the RTÉ Prime Time programme on baby deaths at the Portlaoise hospital that the Franks began to ask questions and sought legal advice and commenced proceedings in February 2014.
The Franks had claimed there was a failure to follow through with the plan arrived at for the delivery of Dylan on February 10, 2007, and a failure to have regard to the clear evidence that Dylan was small.
The pregnancy, it was claimed, had been allowed to continue until after term, and there was a failure to deliver Dylan prior to March 4, 2007.
There was, it was claimed, a failure to recognise foetal distress and and a failure to give a full and accurate account to Dylan’s parents of what had happened.
It was also claimed there was a negligent concealing of the true facts, and that Mrs Franks had negligently been allowed for seven years to feel that the reason for her baby’s death was placental insufficiency caused because of her smoking during pregnancy.
It was further claimed that in an oppressive and unreasonable and overbearing manner, the HSE’s case had been represented at all times as being one where this was an unavoidable death due to placental insufficiency.
The Franks, it was claimed, had no reason to doubt the evidence given at the inquest by HSE witnesses and it was not until they were contacted by the HSE in February 2014, that the true circumstances of the birth were made known to them.
The Franks, both carers for adults with special needs, were devastated by the death of their first born Dylan and were constantly worried when Mrs Franks had two more children.
Counsel told the court liability was admitted in the case in April 2014.
Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross sympathised with the Franks on the loss of Dylan and and he said he hoped the settlement would give the family some sort of closure.
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