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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 January 2005, 17:56 GMT
Family want forceps case reviewed
Sarah and Rick Hubbard with their daughter Megan
The parents of a baby who died after being delivered by the same doctor who delivered Alexander Clarke say they want their case to be reviewed.

Megan Hubbard died of a fractured skull at a Coventry hospital in 2001, after consultant obstetrician, Eric Watson, used forceps and a suction cap.

An inquest jury returned a verdict of accidental death in February 2002.

Sarah and Rick Hubbard say despite the same inquest verdict for Alexander, they want the GMC to review their case.

The damage that these things do to you, it is very difficult to explain to someone that you child has died and it is basically somebody else's fault that it has happened
Sarah Hubbard

Birmingham coroner Aidan Cotter called for a series of investigations into Alexander's death, following the four-day inquest this week.

He suffered brain damage after a forceps delivery and spent all of his six-week life on a ventilator after being born at the Wordsley Hospital in Stourbridge in February last year.

Cause of death was given as "mechanical trauma to the cervical spine".

Mr Watson told the inquest that he considered his use of the implements were unlikely to have caused the spinal injury.

Rotate in womb

Megan died 10 hours after being delivered by emergency Caesarean section at Coventry's Walsgrave Hospital on 1 February 2001.

Before she was successfully delivered, there had been five failed attempts to rotate her in the womb using a silicon ventouse suction cap and forceps.

Mr Watson rejected claims in evidence that he used excessive force with the forceps and that his performance was sub-standard or "outside the boundaries of what was acceptable", as one expert suggested.

But he conceded that his repeated use of the instruments may have caused Megan's injuries, including a 4.5cm (two-inch) mark to the back of her head,

'Baby in distress'

The University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, which runs Walsgrave Hospital, admitted legal liability for the death and said at the time it would not oppose any future civil action.

Mrs Hubbard, who now has two children, told the BBC that there were "so many similarities" between her and Mrs Clarke's delivery.

"Mrs Clarke had a long labour, same as I did. She requested a caesarean, same as I did. A forceps delivery, which, in her case was successful, in its own way.

"There were problems with the baby, the baby was in distress.

'Could happen again'

"Megan had a mark on the back of her neck....and was caused by forceps. The court acknowledged this was a forceps mark.

"Megan's head was pushed in a way that baby's head are not meant to go.

"The damage that these things do to you, it is very difficult to explain to someone that you child has died and it is basically somebody else's fault that it has happened.

"We are definitely going to take it back to the General Medical Council to be reviewed.

"Dr Watson did not acknowledge he had done anything wrong.

"We were worried this could happen again and unfortunately the phrase of 'I told you so' seems to spring to mind...it has been allowed to happen again."


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