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 Friday, 10 January, 2003, 11:45 GMT
Baby 'slashed in mother's womb'
Alannah Dunipace
Alannah Dunipace with her mother Joanne Keir
An investigation has been promised after a baby was scarred for life when her forehead was allegedly slashed by a scalpel during a Caesarean birth.

Alannah Dunipace sustained the 5in cut to her forehead when a surgeon at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee apparently cut too far into the womb.

Politicians have joined her parents, Joanne Keir and Edward Dunipace, in calling for a full inquiry into the incident.

This should never have been allowed to happen to Alannah and should never be allowed to happen again

Joanne Keir
Mother
Tayside Health Council is launching its own investigation into the circumstances of the case.

A spokeswoman for the for the council, which monitors health services in the area, said: "We are looking into the incident and we are looking to gather together all the information we can.

"We would like to know the ins and outs of precisely what happened on this occasion.

"There could be any number of reasons for this happening and we will be looking into it."

Ms Keir, 28, described the incident as "shocking".

Full inquiry

She said she had been in touch with her solicitor concerning legal action against the hospital.

"This should never have been allowed to happen to Alannah and should never be allowed to happen again," she said.

"I think it is the hospital's duty to ensure that a full inquiry into this incident is carried out.

We must find out the reasons why the surgeon cut so deeply into the mother's womb

Shona Robison MSP
"It can't be any comfort to anyone that this is a rare incident."

Ms Keir, who has two other children, lives in Arbroath with partner Edward.

She said the episode had put her off having any more children.

And she said she was furious that the surgeon involved had not apologised to her.

The Scottish National Party's Shona Robison backed calls for an inquiry.

The Dundee MSP said: "This has been an appalling and very serious incident which has led to the permanent disfigurement of a baby.

Reasons why

"What should have been one of the happiest days in the lives of the parents has been ruined because of this.

"Hospital managers should start a full inquiry into what exactly went wrong in this incident and this must be done immediately.

"We must find out the reasons why the surgeon cut so deeply into the mother's womb and find out whether or not the surgeon followed all the proper and correct procedures."

A spokeswoman for Ninewells Hospital said she was unable to comment on the case due to patient confidentiality.

See also:

02 Nov 02 | Scotland
23 Mar 00 | Scotland
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