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Clun couple still seeking answers over loss of son

Clun | Health | Published:

A mother whose son died almost 30 years ago after she gave birth to him at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital says she still has questions over the care she received.

It comes as a review into mother and baby deaths and injuries at Shropshire's hospitals is now thought to be examining more than 100 cases.

Sandra Dudley, of Clun, had been due to give birth to Sean on November 25, 1989.

She and husband Graham had been trying for a baby for five years before she fell pregnant.

Mrs Dudley says during her labour it became apparent that their baby was in distress and she claims that if she had been given a caesarean section he may have survived.

He died eight weeks after being born.

Mrs Dudley, 55, said: "I went to hospital for a check-up and they said he wasn't in distress but was better out than left in.

"They had me on a monitor at the hospital.

"I didn't go into labour until Thursday morning. They took me down to the labour ward and said they would have to break my waters.

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"They noticed he had emptied his bowels which is a sign of distress.

"They said they would have to move me to a bigger room because more than likely when he was born there would be lots of doctors and nurses coming in."

She said she was later told the baby was in distress and she would be having a caesarean section.

"For some reason they decided not to c-section me," Mrs Dudley said.

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"At 9.30pm on Thursday night after 14 hours of labour they saw my baby's heartbeat was slowing down.

"The midwives said they had to get him out. They cut me open and pulled him out with forceps.

"They said they were going to take him but didn't say if he was alive or not."

Her son was placed on a ventilator to help him breathe.

Mrs Dudley said: "They suggested we get him baptised as soon as possible and on the Saturday we got in touch with the vicar and he did a baptism.

"They said they were going to take him off the ventilator and see what happens.

"He started breathing for himself and we thought he was going to be okay.

"We had to go to see a paediatrician and they said he was poorly. He was 8lbs when he was born but he kept on losing weight.

"He survived eight weeks before he died at the hospital.

"I believe if I had the c-section things could have been different."

She said the couple sought answers from the hospital but were not left satisfied.

Despite being told she would never be able to get pregnant again, Mrs Dudley unexpectedly fell pregnant with her son Ian a month after Sean died.

She says she had no complaints about the care she received during that pregnancy, adding: "I had a c-section two weeks early to make sure the same thing didn't happen."

An independent review into baby deaths at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust was launched last year at the request of than Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The trust was formed in 2003, although some of the concerns being investigated surrounding maternity care at Shropshire's hospitals pre-date this.

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