In 2011, Claire Smith, 41, had a procedure that had the potential to cause complications in future pregnancies.
Smith, who also had a 22-year-old daughter and an 18-year old son, learned she was pregnant again in 2013. She was already 27 weeks along.
Her previous operation should have classified Smith’s pregnancy as “high-risk,” as it meant her baby would be at a greater risk for injury during a c-section.
But somehow, doctors failed to read her medical records correctly on numerous occasions.
At 30 weeks, Smith’s water broke, and she was taken to the hospital. After five days, however, she was discharged.
Then at 33 weeks, she went into labor. Back at the hospital, doctors said an emergency c-section was the only option.
When baby Carson was finally born, he needed to be treated for underdeveloped lungs and was profusely bleeding from his head.
While doctors worked to stop the bleeding, Smith believed the baby’s 2-inch wound was a result of her 2011 procedure.
Tragically, Carson died of a brain hemorrhage less than three hours after being born.
But after the post-mortem, Smith and her partner Scott Allen learned that the incision was instead caused by a scalpel.
While cutting into the wall of her womb, doctors accidentally cut into the soft part of the baby’s skull.
For the next four years, Smith and Allen fought for answers from the hospital, hoping their child’s death was not their fault. They visited his grave twice a day hoping to keep his memory alive.
And finally, the hospital apologized to the grieving parents and paid them an undisclosed sum.
‘We reiterate the trust’s condolences to the family on the death of their son, Carson,” the hospital said, “and apologize for the shortfalls in our care, mindful that no words or amount of money can undo the harm and distress the family have experienced as a result of this case.’
And while the family is thankful for the apology, they know it cannot bring their son back.
“I have been put through hell fighting for the reassurance that I could not have prevented Carson’s death,” Smith said. “It isn’t closure and the heartbreak will never end but it has given me peace of mind knowing my baby boy’s death was not my fault.”
“I hope that others don’t have to lose something so precious in such a traumatic way.” Hopefully, this tragedy can make other families aware to prevent the same thing from happening to them.
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