Derbyshire newborn died of natural causes, inquest hears

Derby Coroners Court.

Derby Coroners Court.

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A three-hour-old baby died as a result of a combination of natural factors rather than any negligence on the part of the hospital, an inquest has found.

Amelia Brusby, who was born on December 22, 2014, died in her mother’s arms just hours after her birth by caesarean section at the Royal Derby Hospital.

After considering the evidence from hospital staff and an independent medical expert, assistant coroner, Louise Pinder, found that the hospital trust had no case to answer.

Recording a verdict of natural causes, Miss Pinder said: “Amelia was an abnormally large baby, and the placenta was too small for her as a result.

“This factor, combined with an infection of the fluid in her mother’s womb, led to a lack of oxygen in her brain which caused her death.

“There is no evidence that she was starved of oxygen during either the labour or the birth.”

Amelia’s family, who were all in court to hear the verdict, said they were unhappy with the verdict and were ‘considering their next steps’.

Her mother, Danielle Barton, 22, and her partner, James Brusby, both of Duffield, near Belper, released a statement though a spokesperson after the hearing.

They said: “Since losing our precious daughter Amelia words cannot express how devastated we have been and what a major impact this has had on all of our family.

“We were so excited at the prospect of being parents and after an uneventful pregnancy has no reason to suspect such a tragedy would occur.

“For Amelia to die so suddenly and unexpectedly at just three hours old was cruel beyond belief.

“We have had to wait an unbearable 16 months for this inquest and have been tortured daily by our questions relating to the care Danielle received while in labour and to the monitoring of Amelia during her brief life.

“A paediatric consultant at the hospital even told us after the event that the outcome may well have been different with closer monitoring of Amelia after delivery.

“We came here to seek answers as to why and how this happened to our beautiful girl.

“We are to be honest in total shock that the coroner has concluded that our baby girl died due to natural causes.

“While we totally respect the coroner’s decision there are still too many unanswered questions and we are finding it so hard to move forward.

“Our trust in those that should have ensured a safe and happy outcome has been broken.

“For now our priority is to spend time together as a family dealing with all the fresh grief and emotions that the inquest has renewed and then we will consider our next step.”

Cathy Winfield, Chief Nurse for Derby Teaching Hospitals, said: “Since this sad incident in December 2014, we have had several meetings with the family to explain to them exactly what happened and we have offered to meet them again to answer any questions they may still have following the conclusion of this inquest.

“As the coroner found, Amelia’s sudden collapse was entirely unexpected and could not have been foreseen.

“On behalf of the trust, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the family of baby Amelia for their tragic loss - the death of a baby so soon after her birth is a tragedy for everyone concerned.”