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Last Updated: Monday, 13 October, 2003, 19:43 GMT 20:43 UK
Baby died in maternity bed
Baby Conor
Baby Conor died in Leeds General Infirmary
An inquest has heard how a partially-sighted woman's two-day-old son died after she apparently fell asleep having breast-fed him in a maternity ward bed.

Lisa Salmon, 36, of Horsforth, Leeds told the inquest into the death of her baby Conor that staff at Leeds General Infirmary had given her the baby to feed in bed, despite her being registered blind and having had little sleep for three days.

Ms Salmon told the coroner, David Hinchliff, the baby had been born normally at on 30 January, 2002, weighing 7lbs 6oz. He died on 1 February from a lack of oxygen to his brain.

Home Office pathologist professor Helen Whitwell said the most likely explanation was "overlying" by Ms Salmon.

Staff at the maternity unit told the inquest the technique showed to Ms Salmon in which a baby was breast-fed in bed with its mother lying down which was "a quite normal procedure".

But the advice to mothers now is to breast feed in a chair, or in bed, with someone watching over them.

Ms Salmon said she fed baby Conor and the next thing she remembered was checking him and finding the child limp.

Lisa Salmon
Mother Lisa Salmon was shown a breast feeding technique in bed
He was rushed to a ventilator, but his condition deteriorated and Ms Salmon and her partner Mark Walker agreed the machine should be switched off.

The hospital is the same one Ms Salmon was treated in following an accident when her car was crushed by a 30-tonne lorry in January 2001, near Skipton.

She suffered head and facial injuries, including losing her right eye after a shard of glass pierced it.

The other eye had only 10% vision due to a pre-existing condition.

Ms Salmon said she could make out light and dark and could just about tell if there was someone in the room with her, but no more.

She said she had breast-fed Conor using "touch and feel".

The inquest is expected to last for four days.




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