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Inquest into infant death at Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust Hospital


Samantha Presland appeared recently on behalf of the family of a baby girl at the inquest into her death at a hospital run by Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust. Ava Parkes died at just seven hours old after one of her shoulders was trapped against her mother’s pelvis during birth (shoulder dystocia). The coroner found that the delay between delivery of the baby’s head and the rest of the body placed her under increasing stress, with her brain being starved of oxygen. The coroner returned a narrative verdict, finding that the baby took significantly longer to be delivered than the notes of NHS staff suggested. Ava Parkes’ family has called for the NHS to review their systems to ensure no repeat of such a tragedy.

Samantha Presland comments: “In a complicated child-birth situation, time is of the essence. In this case, sadly, a significant time elapsed between the delivery of Ava’s head and the rest of her body. As the coroner indicated, had difficulties been anticipated earlier and emergency steps been taken as they should have been there would have been a far shorter period of oxygen starvation leading to her irretrievable hypoxic brain injury.”

Barristers: Samantha Presland
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