South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust has paid compensation to the family of a baby who died four days after being born, due to a series of medical mistakes.
Daniel Kunigiskis was delivered at Warwick Hospital in October 2012 but the midwives looking after his mother Sarah failed to check her antenatal notes, which stated that she was a medium-risk patient.
In addition, the foetal heartbeat was not monitored properly, while the infant was left with a severe brain injury due to a lack of oxygen during the birth; as reported in the Coventry Telegraph.
The medical mistakes made by NHS staff were compounded by the fact that one of the midwives who was dealing with the delivery was known to have made mistakes in the past.
Baby Daniel was later transferred to the University Hospital in Coventry but died aged just four days old on October 13th 2012.
The family subsequently chose to take legal action against South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and have now recieved medical negligence compensation. The exact amount of compensation has not been disclosed, but it is understood to be a five-figure sum.
Helen Lancaster, Director of Nursing at South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, said, "At the Inquest, the NHS Trust accepted that medical mistakes were made during the birth delivery of Daniel Kunigiskis, which we sincerely regret.
"I apologised to the family at the Inquest. On behalf of the NHS Trust, I would like to apologise again and offer my condolences to Daniel's family."
Hospital Initially Denied Medical Mistakes
Following the compensation settlement, Daniel's mother has spoken about the death of her baby son for the first time.
She said losing her newborn child was extremely traumatic, but stated that the pain was magnified by the hospital's reluctance at first to admit that it had made medical mistakes.
"The hospital initially tried to imply that there was something wrong with the baby before delivery and would not admit they were at fault for our baby's death," she commented.
Mrs Kunigiskis, who lives with her husband Tyron in Warwick, noted that she had an inkling during the labour itself that not everything was going to plan, since she had given birth to a baby before. However, she said she was told by the midwives that everything was going smoothly.
"You put your faith and your trust in NHS staff getting it right and then they make these kind of catastrophic mistakes," she continued.
"It's then made so much worse when they won't admit to their mistakes."
NHS Hospitals Must Be Accountable
Mrs Kunigiskis said she hopes that by speaking out about what happened to her baby, she can put pressure on NHS Trusts and hospitals to be more accountable for their actions if employees make any medical mistakes at all.
Furthermore, she stated that she wants to encourage individual patients to be more willing to follow their instincts if they feel a procedure such as childbirth is not going to plan.
Mrs Kunigiskis insisted that people must feel confident enough to question the process if they "believe that things are not right".
However, she acknowledged that it is difficult for hospital patients to summon up the "strength and courage" to make this challenge to healthcare professionals; when they are in such a vulnerable position.
By Francesca Witney