Weston midwife's failures lead to unborn baby's death just days after 36-week scan

PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 July 2017 | UPDATED: 15:06 10 July 2017

A midwife has been suspended after her failure to detect a serious pregnancy complication led to the death of an unborn child.

A midwife has been suspended after her failure to detect a serious pregnancy complication led to the death of an unborn child.

Archant

A former midwife for Weston General Hospital has been suspended after a hearing found her actions led to the death of an unborn child.

Jennifer Gamlin’s failure to properly treat a pregnant woman who had multiple symptoms of a serious pregnancy complication led to the woman’s baby dying just weeks before its due date.

Ms Gamlin carried out a 36-week antenatal check on the woman – known only as Patient A – but failed to refer her for treatment for preeclampsia, despite her showing multiple symptoms of the condition.

Preeclampsia elevates a woman’s blood pressure and can cause organs to fail. In many cases, expectant mothers will deliver healthy babies and fully recover but it can sometimes have deadly consequences for both mother and baby.

Four days after her check-up with Ms Gamlin, Patient A’s unborn baby died.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) began investigating the incident after Weston Area Health NHS Trust – which runs the Grange Road hospital in Weston-super-Mare – referred the case to it following an internal investigation.

The NMC report says there were ‘numerous clinical symptoms’ showing Patient A had preeclampsia which were not spotted by Ms Gamlin.

It adds: “The post-mortem carried out indicates severe preeclampsia as probable cause of Baby A’s death.

“Early detection of preeclampsia and timely obstetric-led care would have likely led to obstetricians inducing delivery, which may have prevented Baby A’s death.”

Ms Gamlin registered as a nurse in August 1982, and as a midwife in May 1986. She retired from midwifery in March 2016.

The NMC said she acknowledged the seriousness of her actions and has ‘apologised for her failures and expressed genuine remorse’.

It adds the incident was ‘one day’ in an ‘otherwise unblemished’ career but the NMC found her actions to be unacceptable and negligent.

The NMC has imposed a suspension which means Ms Gamlin cannot practice as a midwife for six months.

Weston General Hospital’s associate director of nursing Julia Stroud said: “Our sympathies remain with the family at this very distressing and difficult time.

“Tragically, Trust guidelines were not followed. As a result, we conducted a series of internal investigations and… the midwife was then referred by us to the NMC. She no longer works for the Trust.”

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