Mother gives birth to baby girl after being told by medics her unborn child was dead

Hazel Wiggins was moments away from taking abortion pills when she insisted staff at Hexham General Hospital perform a second scan

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The Independent Online

A mother who was told her unborn baby was dead by hospital staff has given birth to a baby girl after insisting medics performed a second scan.

Hazel Wiggins, from Prudhoe, Northumberland, had been told her unborn child had died and had returned back to Hexham General Hospital to begin taking a series of abortion pills.

But she demanded another scan after arriving in hospital while medics insisted she took the tablets.

Ms Wiggins told The Evening Chronicle: "They kept saying that I needed to take the tablets and I said that I didn't want to.

"I told them I wanted another scan. It went on for about 20 minutes."

According to Miss Wiggins, the medic who eventually performed her second scan then turned to her and said: "I have a baby here who is jumping all over the place - the baby is alive.”

Her case has led to a change in NHS policy on pre-natal scans and all pregnant mothers who are told their baby has died after a scan will be automatically offered a second one.

Northumbria NHS Healthcare Foundation Trust has said it apologises unreservedly for the distress caused.

Dr Eliot Sykes, clinical director of emergency surgery and elective care at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We have recently met with Mrs Wiggins and her husband to apologise wholeheartedly for the unnecessary distress caused following the misinterpretation of her initial scan with us at Hexham General Hospital last year.

"We have fully investigated the circumstances surrounding this unusual incident and made some important changes to ensure that two scans are always carried out as a matter of course whenever there are concerns about the viability of the foetus.

"We appreciate this must have been a very worrying time for Mr and Mrs Wiggins and would like to reassure them that we have taken all appropriate steps to prevent this happening in future."