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Lincoln baby died after hospital staff missed mother’s diabetes

A two-day-old baby born at Lincoln County Hospital died due to staff missing his mother’s underlying diabetes, an inquest heard.

Robert Luke Goddard was born six days late on April 18, 2013, at Lincoln County Hospital.

He was born via emergency caesarean section, and was not breathing when delivered.

Staff spent almost 30 minutes trying to resuscitate him, though the specialist team did not arrive after his birth for almost 18 minutes.

However, due to lack of oxygen, he suffered brain damage and died two days later after it was decided to withdraw intensive care.

The inquest found that doctors and midwives missed a number of opportunities to diagnose his mother, Catherine Byrns from Waddington, with diabetes which developed during her pregnancy.

The mother’s BMI was not recorded at any point during her pregnancy alongside failings in the recordings of her glucose levels, which United Lincolnshire Hospitals’ Trust (ULHT) accepted responsibility for.

The community midwife dealing with Byrns’ pregnancy admitted she saw Robert’s mother as “low risk” so did not weigh her, but accepts she should have done.

Three midwife appointments missed the opportunity to check for gestational diabetes, even though urine samples found high levels of glucose present.

Aditionally, the inquest found that communication on the labour ward was not at a high enough standard.

Since the event, ULHT have put an action plan in place, where random checks are carried out to record women’s BMIs and gestational diabetes is looked for.

Pauleen Pratt, Acting Chief Nurse, said: “United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust offers our sincere apologies for the failings in midwifery and obstetric care. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to Robert’s family at this difficult time.

“The Trust investigated this case immediately following Robert’s tragic death and identified failings in care which were shared with the family and the coroner.

“Since Robert’s death the Trust introduced a range of new procedures to reduce the risk of anything like this ever happening again.

“We have been in contact the family to discuss the corner’s findings and update them on the changes we have made. We shall continue to offer them our support and assurance that things are different now.”