Parents of baby who died five days after birth settle case against HSE

Midlands Couple had sued for mental distress as a result of the death of their newborn son
Parents of baby who died five days after birth settle case against HSE

Claire and Keith Cullen lost their baby Aaron Ben Cullen on May 9, 2016. The infant was born five days previously at the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise. Picture: Collins Courts/file

The parents of a baby boy who died five days after his birth at Midland Regional Hospital have settled their High Court actions.

Claire and Keith Cullen had sued the HSE for mental distress as a result of the death of their newborn baby.

The Cullens from Co Laois lost their baby Aaron Ben Cullen on May 9, 2016. The infant was born five days previously at the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise.

Baby Aaron was born on May 4, 2016 at 35 weeks and two days gestation and was later transferred to Dublin’s Coombe Hospital where he died in his parents’ arms on May 9.

In the High Court today,  the Cullens’ counsel Oonagh McCrann Sc with Doireann O’Mahony BL said the settlements arose over the very tragic death of the couple’s first child.

It was claimed there was an alleged avoidable delay of about 40 minutes in delivering the baby by caesarean section.

Noting the settlements Mr Justice Kevin Cross extended his sympathy to the entire Cullen family.

The Cullens of Portlaoise, Co Laois had each brought a case against the HSE claiming damages for injuries including shock-induced psychiatric injury suffered as a result of the alleged negligence and alleged breach of duty relating to the death of their new-born baby. Baby Aaron was born at the Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise on May 4, 2016 after 35 weeks and two days gestation. The baby made no respiratory effort after birth and was started on intermittent positive pressure ventilation.

Pulmonary hyperplasia was suspected and it was claimed that despite treatment and respiratory support the baby continued to deteriorate and was transferred to the Dublin hospital.

He died in the Dublin hospital on May 9, 2016 and the postmortem showed evidence of hypoxia, renal vein thrombosis of the left kidney and haemorrhage.

It was claimed the management of the mother’s labour and the delivery and aftermath of the birth were allegedly substandard . It was alleged there were fetal heart rate abnormalities and prolonged decelerations and a fetal scalp blood sample should have been taken or immediate delivery carried out.

The alleged delay in deciding to deliver the baby by caesarean section it was claimed was substandard and there was, it was alleged an avoidable delay of 40 minutes. It was claimed with proper management the outcome could have been different.

There was it was claimed an alleged failure to act upon the pathological trace and a delay in proceeding to caesarean section.    Counsel told the court it has been a time of enormous distress for the Cullens and a very difficult episode in their lives.

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