Premature baby decapitated inside mother's womb during botched birth

Premature baby decapitated inside mother's womb during botched birth

A premature baby was accidentally decapitated inside his mother's womb when a consultant gynaecologist carried out a botched birth on an NHS maternity unit.

A medical tribunal heard how Dr Vaishnavy Laxman should have given the 30-year old patient an emergency Caesarean section, as the baby boy was in a breech position.

Instead, however, the doctor attempted to carry out the delivery naturally while allegedly applying traction to the baby's legs, with tragedy striking soon after.

The horrific incident occurred at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, when Dr Laxman encouraged the soon-to-be-mother to push when she was not even in established labour, causing the baby's legs, arms and torso to become detached and leaving the head still in the womb.

Afterwards, the rest of the body was removed, two other doctors subsequently carrying out a C-section on the woman in order to remove the infant's head. It was then "re-attached" to his body so his mother could hold him before saying goodbye.

The mother - known only as Patient A - came face to face with the doctor who mismanaged the birth at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester this week.

According to reports, she looked over at her and said "I don't forgive you - I don't forgive you" as Dr Laxman stared down at the floor. The patient then looked away as the doctor's QC apologised on her behalf.

The woman's waters had broken early at 25 weeks and, upon examination, her unborn baby boy was found to have a prolapsed cord. Her cervix was only around 2 to 3cm dilated when normally woman in labour don't begin pushing until 10cm.

During the tribunal, the mother gave a heartbreaking testimony telling the room: "I tried to get off the bed but they pulled me back three times and just said they had to get the baby out. They twice tried to cut my cervix and nobody told me they were going to do it." She continued: "There was no anaesthetic. I said to them 'it doesn't feel right, stop it, what's going on, I don't want to do it' but nobody responded to me in any way."

Later on, she added: "Afterwards I was in a cubicle with a curtain around me and the sister came over to me and told me my son had passed away. I didn't know the details but Dr Laxman came to see me and the baby's father was there. Dr Laxman sat on the side of my bed and she said how sorry she was for what happened but I didn't know the full extent of what happened at that point. 'I just said 'it's alright, these things happen, I forgive you'. She went away but I started screaming when I found out the full extent - I was just crying. I was upset because of the severity of his injury. "I would never use the word stillborn, he was not stillborn he was decapitated."