A PREGNANT mum lost her baby after bungling midwives dismissed her water breaking as sweat.
Katie Pateman is set to receive thousands of pounds in compensation nearly three years after she lost her baby Poppy.
8 Katie Pateman, 30, with her stillborn daughter PoppyCredit: Triangle News
8 Katie, who was reassured her pregnancy was normal, is set to receive an undisclosed payoutCredit: Triangle News
8 Katie’s daughter Poppy was born stillborn in September 2016Credit: Triangle News
Doctors said she received “substandard and unacceptable care” at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, where midwives failed to spot her baby was small for its gestation.
She says she quizzed medics after discovering her knickers were soaked with fluid three months before her baby girl was due.’I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE IT’
But she says that instead of examining her, or checking if her amniotic fluid was leaking, Katie was told she was simply sweating heavily in the sweltering summer heat.
It meant the 30-year-old was left until 39 weeks before she went into labour, where stunned staff discovered she didn’t have any amniotic fluid, which protects babies in the womb.
Sadly, after a seven hour labour, her baby was stillborn – a tragedy experts say could have been avoided if she’d been induced two weeks earlier.
Katie said: “Still to this day, I can’t believe it happened. I didn’t think it would ever happen to me.
Sometimes I’ll just be driving along and suddenly I’ll think about holding her and how she was cold and I’ll get chills down my spine.Katie Pateman
“Now it’s something I’ve got to live with for the rest of my life.
‘Sometimes I’ll just be driving along and suddenly I’ll think about holding her and how she was cold and I’ll get chills down my spine.”
Katie is a stay-at-home mum to son Tyler, six, and daughter Maisie, two, who she became pregnant with just months after losing Poppy.
The tragic mum had expected to produce a healthy full-term baby girl when she came to give birth.
But staff had crucially failed to notice during the pregnancy that the placenta wasn’t transferring nutrients properly.
8 Katie, who has two other children, had to endure the seven-hour labour of her stillborn childCredit: Triangle News
8 Katie was reassured by midwives that her pregnancy was ‘normal’ she saidCredit: Triangle News
Now Katie, who lives in St Neots, Cambs, has spoken out in a bid to urge other women to always speak up if they think something is wrong.
She has recently finished taking legal action against the hospital which provided her care.
Katie raised concerns about her hands becoming numb and her baby’s lack of movement – but was reassured by her midwife that she was fine.
Two weeks later, Katie frantically alerted midwives again after discovering that she appeared to be leaking amniotic fluid – but midwives simply blamed the hot summer.
It is believed that she was suffering from a rare condition called ‘oligohydramnios’ – a condition where the woman loses all the protective amniotic fluid that protects the baby,
drastically affecting a babies chance of survival.
As the unexplained leaking continued, Katie says she then suffered a further setback when the midwife noted that Poppy was not growing properly when measuring her stomach at 32 weeks, but still no action was taken to investigate.
What is oligohydramnios?
Oligohydramnios refers to a low level of amniotic fluid, suffered by around 8 per cent of pregnant women.
It’s associated with maternal and fetal complications.
Diagnosis is done by ultrasonographic measurement of amniotic fluid volume.
Management involves close monitoring and serial ultrasonographic assessments.
Complications can led to fetal death, a caesarean delivery and limb contractures.
8 Katie’s son Tyler, six with his sister Maisie at her birthCredit: Triangle News
8 Katie’s fears about leaking amniotic fluid during her pregnancy were ‘dismissed’ by midwivesCredit: Triangle News
A report written after the baby’s death concluded that if Katie had been referred to a consultant obstetrician at this point, an ultrasound would have raised alarm bells and the baby could have been saved if she had been induced two weeks earlier, at 37 weeks.
Katie first learnt that Poppy was in danger after being rushed to the maternity ward on September 14, 2016 – around her expected due date – to give birth.
Everything seemed normal, and Katie says she was “ecstatic” to meet her baby girl.
But when she thought the baby was dropping for labour, she instead was confronted with her daughter’s death.
When they looked for her heartbeat, the consultant couldn’t find it and finally she just turned to me and said ‘I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat, your baby has diedKatie Pateman
“When they looked for her heartbeat, the consultant couldn’t find it and finally she just turned to me and said ‘I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat, your baby has died.’
“And I can’t even explain that feeling, it was just terrible.”
Devastated Katie still had to endure a seven hour labour following the tragic discovery before giving birth at 7am on September 15.
“She was placed in my arms and – oh my god – she was so perfect though tiny,” she said.
“She just looked like a baby sleeping. And it was just absolutely heartbreaking.”
Following her death, the hospital admitted fault over the incident with the report by Mr Duthie criticising the failure to pick up on Poppy’s tiny size.
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Fran Stephens, Head of Midwifery and Divisional Head of Nursing at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, said they “accepted responsibility for those failings at the time”.
She added: “A full investigation was instigated and as a result lessons have been learned and procedures changed so that the tragic outcome that Mrs Pateman suffered would not happen again.
“Sincere condolences were extended to the family for the loss of their baby and support was offered.”
8 Katie Pateman, 30, with son Tyler, sixCredit: Triangle News
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