The Health Service Executive and a hospital have apologised to the parents of a Ali Dowling Crowe, who died two weeks after her birth, for failings in care at the time of her birth.
Patrick Treacy SC, legal representative for Ali’s family, told the court the child suffered brain damage from, what was referred to as, a ‘near total deprivation of oxygen’ at the time of her birth.
A letter of apology to Ali’s parents, Sharon Dowling and Brian Crowe, was read to the the High Court, which said that the HSE and St Lukes Hospital, Carlow/Kilkenny “express an unreserved apology to you and your family for the failings in the care afforded to your child Baby Ali in the course of her birth at this hospital on January 17, 2015. We extend our deepest sympathy to you and your family arising from her subsequent death on February 1st, 2015.”
The couple, of Glenvale, Ballyraggert, Kilkenny had taken the legal action against the HSE claiming Ali suffered brain damage during to her delivery. This, they claimed, was caused by an acute near total hypoxic ischemic insult during labour. Ali became unwell upon her delivery on January 17 2015, and passed away on February 1.
In the birth death compensation action it was claimed that Ali’s delivery should have taken place 20 or 35 minutes earlier and that a failure to interpret a CTG suitably and take the appropriate step for remedial action. The court was told that there was a partial admission in the case in relation to the CTG trace.
Ali was their first child and both parents said they suffered shock distress and emotional upset following her death.
In a statement made outside court, Ali’s parents said that they never imagined that instead of celebrating the birth of their beautiful daughter, they would be arranging her funeral. They said: “Instead of calling loved ones telling them our much anticipated and longed for first born had arrived, we had to impart the devastating news that our baby was dead. On that day our lives changed forever and will never be the same again. We are broken but we choose to live in hope and we will try to get on with our lives, knowing that Ali is in our hearts, our angel in heaven guiding and protecting her parents and two sisters.”
Approving the settlement, Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon said she was pleased that there has been an apology issued and wished the family all the best for the future, adding that she was aware that no words from her or compensation could console the parents who have lost their first child.