Mum pays tribute to Teegan Barnard who died after childbirth

A HEARTBROKEN mother whose teenage daughter died following a traumatic childbirth has described her girl as a ‘big personality’ who was ‘full of life’.

By Tom Cotterill
Saturday, 8th January 2022, 4:55 am
Updated Monday, 10th January 2022, 11:02 pm

Teegan Barnard suffered a cardiac arrest two hours after delivering her healthy baby boy, Parker, at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester on September 9, 2019.

The ‘small’ 17-year-old from Havant suffered a ‘major’ bleed giving birth to Parker, who weighed 9lbs 9oz, losing almost four litres of blood.

As a result of the bleed, Teegan was starved of oxygen and suffered a severe brain injury and later died at her home on October 7, 2019.

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Baby Parker

Speaking during the opening of a four-day inquest into her daughter’s death, Teegan’s mother Abbie Hallawell paid tribute to her girl.

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In a statement read at West Sussex Coroner’s Court, Abbie said: ‘Teegan had a big personality and was full of life. She loved her family and had close relationships with her grandparents.

‘She was girly-girl who enjoyed socialising with her friends and horse riding. Growing up she was a normal healthy girl who didn't suffer any major illnesses.’

Teegan and mum Abbie

She added: ‘She was booked in to have her labour induced on September 9 but on the 7th began to have contractions so went to St Richard's, she was checked over but midwives said she wasn't dilated enough so sent her home.’

Ms Hallawell said the following day her contractions 'escalated' and she re-visited hospital. She was 4cm dilated but didn't appear to be dilating sufficiently.

Her contractions became 'very strong and she was in a lot of pain'.

Around 1am on September 9, Teegan showed signs of infection and was given an emergency caesarean. At 3.04am Parker was born weighing 4,345 grams and was classified as a ‘large baby’.

However, Ms Hallawell told how doctors told her Teegan 'suffered a bleed and cardiac arrest'. Subsequent scans showed she suffered brain damage

Earlier during the inquest, the court heard that under local NHS guidelines, Teegan could have been offered an induced labour at 38 weeks - three weeks before she eventually gave birth.

Investigators from the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) said it would have been ‘best practice’ to have offered the teenager an induced labour.

Instead, Teegan’s little boy grew in size and ‘in retrospect it would have contributed to the risk of postpartum haemorrhage (PPH)’ - which is a heavy bleed in a woman after birth.

At St Richard’s, Teegan suffered obstructive labour - when a baby cannot exit the pelvis - and she underwent a caesarean section.

She lost 3.85 litres of blood - almost eight times the average amount of blood lost during a normal birth.

The court heard how Teegan’s blood pressure and temperature ‘spiked’ while she was in labour.A decision was taken by medics to carry out a caesarean at about 1.20am on September 9.

Shortly after baby Parker was born a postpartum haemorrhage was detected by medics, prompting an ‘emergency’ situation.

Dr Ahmed Elgarhy, senior speciality registrar at St Richard’s Hospital, said: ‘Immediately after baby Parker was born there was this blood loss. That was due to the muscle of the uterus going soft.

‘Normally the uterus contracts like a cricket ball to stop any bleeding during that time. Because the blood supply to the uterus is quite high during pregnancy if the uterus isn’t contracted, the mother can lose a lot of blood.

‘She had a risk of severe blood loss. At that time I declared an emergency that we had a major haemorrhage.’

Teegan lost more than 3.8ltrs of blood - almost eight times the average amount lost during childbirth and nearly four times above normal for a caesarian.

Teegan was later given CPR by doctors.

Dr Elgarhy was quizzed by coroner Dr Karen Henderson over how severe an emergency Teegan’s bleed was.

He said: ‘She had bled almost two-thirds of her blood volume in about ten minutes or less. It was quite an intense and severe emergency. It was quite a stressful emergency.'

Dr Henderson asked: ‘Not to sound dramatic but this was a life or death situation?’

‘Yes, it was definitely a life or death situation,’ replied Dr Elgarhy.

The court heard how, despite the huge blood loss, Teegan was only given two units of blood - just over a litre of fluids.

Dr Henderson asked how two units of blood could be ‘adequate’ to combat such a severe bleed.

‘You said this was a life or death situation,’ she added. ‘The reality is that someone as young as Teegan will have perfect physiology and she will be able to withstand a significant drop in haemoglobin without having any adverse effect.

‘Given you said this was life or death and that she would bleed out, you still think two units was satisfactory, do you?’

Dr Elgarhy said: ‘Sometimes young fit healthy women can cope with big bleeds like this…Two units can in some women be enough in spite of the level of bleeding.’

The inquest continues.