Gosport woman tells inquest moments leading up to baby’s death

Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham
Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham

A WOMAN has spoken of the heartbreaking moment her baby died just minutes after he was born.

An inquest into the death of Rafe Angelo heard that the time between complications during his birth being discovered, to the baby’s mother, Kelly Angelo, getting treatment was ‘too long’.

The midwives started checking me and a decision was made to call an ambulance.

Kelly Angelo

Rafe died shortly after being born at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

Ms Angelo, from Gosport, gave evidence on the first day of a four-day hearing in Portsmouth and told the court how she knew something was wrong during her labour.

The inquest, led by assistant coroner Karen Harrold, heard that problems started around 3.20pm on September 23, 2014 while Ms Angelo was going through the first stages of labour at Blakes Birthing Centre, in Gosport.

After being in the birthing pool to help with pain relief, meconium – the baby’s first faeces – started leaking out of Ms Angelo. Its dark colour and thick consistency prompted midwives to call an ambulance and it was agreed Ms Angelo needed to be urgently transferred to QA.

Ms Angelo told the inquest: ‘When I got out of the birthing pool, there was stuff coming out of me. The midwives started checking me and a decision was made to call an ambulance.’

She added: ‘When I was seen by a doctor at QA Hospital, I knew something was wrong.’

An ambulance from South Central Ambulance Service (Scas) was called at 3.37pm and Ms Angelo arrived at QA at around 4.50pm. She was put on the labour ward and gave birth naturally at 5.30pm but Rafe died shortly afterwards.

The inquest heard from experienced independent doctor Professor Sabaratnam Arulkumaran that when the meconium was noticed, Ms Angelo should have urgently been transferred to QA.

He also said upon her arrival to the hospital, a clinical team and midwife should have been ready to treat Ms Angelo immediately.

Professor Arulkumaran added that looking at the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy, including that Ms Angelo was aged 35 when she conceived, she smoked, did not put on any weight and was vomiting daily, meant she should not have been on a labour ward rather than at a birthing centre.

He said: ‘If the baby was born at 4.30pm then there is a high possibility he would have survived.

‘The discovery of the thick meconium to the time of Ms Angelo being looked at at QA was too long.’

The hearing, held yesterday, also heard from Ms Angelo’s midwife Corine Lafon-Delpit. She said that when the meconium was discovered, she was monitoring the baby’s heart rate often and that in the time between them leaving the birthing centre and arriving at QA, it did not change.

She added that in her views, the ambulance could have arrived quicker to the birthing centre given the urgency of the situation.

The hearing continues.