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Mother sues NHS trust over baby death

A mother whose newborn baby died after medical staff failed to realise she was in labour is suing an NHS trust, it was disclosed today.

Marisa Sanders, 34, was admitted to hospital three days before she was scheduled to have a Caesarean section after her waters broke on August 17, 2007.

Despite signs labour was under way, she was left in a triage room at the Princess Royal University Hospital in Farnborough, Kent, for more than three hours and barely monitored.

Ms Sanders, from Bromley, south-east London, said that when it became apparent the baby was in distress the staff were slow to take action.

Her son, Thomas Arben Deliu, was born without a heartbeat and was not breathing just before midnight the same day, and died at two days old.

A post-mortem examination found he died from a lack of oxygen to the brain. A verdict of death by misadventure contributed to by neglect was recorded at an inquest in April last year.

Now Ms Sanders has instructed solicitors to start legal proceedings against the Trust just days before what would have been Thomas's third birthday.

She said: "To this day the overwhelming feeling of loss and grief at losing Thomas is indescribable.

"Our hearts have been shattered into such small pieces that even a lifetime can not repair.

"Being left isolated from medical staff and ignored during labour is something that should never happen to a woman when she is at her most vulnerable.

"To prevent other babies and families suffering such pain action needs to be taken now.

"I remain determined to make sure that this never happens to anyone else and that justice is done for my little boy.

"By taking this action we are trying to make sure our son Thomas's short life counted for something."

Solicitors for Ms Sanders said the failure to conduct basic checks by staff was "unforgivable".

Medical law and patients' rights specialist, Auriana Griffiths, from law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: "Ms Sanders and her family have been devastated by the loss of Thomas but remain steadfast in their determination to ensure that lessons are learnt and that no-one should have to suffer the way they have.

"To lose a child under any circumstances is unimaginable but to know that Thomas's death should have been prevented had staff at the Princess Royal University Hospital carried out basic checks and followed basic protocol is unforgivable."

The hospital was run by Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust at the time of Thomas's death. Following a merger last year, it became known as South London Healthcare NHS Trust.

A spokesman for South London Healthcare NHS Trust said it apologised again to the family.

In a statement, it said: "There was a full investigation at the time which clearly pointed to negligence on the part of the original Trust.

"The room which had been inappropriately used for the care of Mrs Sanders was closed immediately.

"Additional training was provided to staff involved in Mrs Sanders' case and the principal midwife concerned with her care was subject to a full professional review with the local supervisory authorities."