Doctor who fought to save mum who died after giving birth at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester says situation was ‘perfect storm’ amid suggestions medics ‘missed opportunity’ to save her
A doctor who fought to save a teenage mum who went into cardiac arrest after giving birth to a baby boy described the situation as the ‘perfect storm’ amid suggestions medics had ‘missed an opportunity’ to save her, an inquest heard.
Mum Teegan Barnard suffered a cardiac arrest two hours after delivering her healthy baby boy, Parker, at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester on September 9, 2019.
The ‘small’ 17-year-old from Havant suffered a ‘major’ bleed giving birth to Parker, who weighed 9lbs 9oz, losing almost four litres of blood.
As a result of the bleed, Teegan was starved of oxygen and suffered a severe brain injury and later died at her home on October 7, 2019.
Giving evidence to the hearing at Chichester Coroner’s Court on the third day, consultant anaesthetist Dr Philip McGlone said he arrived in theatre with Teegan having ‘difficulties in ventilating’ the patient as they battled to save her.
He told the inquest he thought Teegan had a bronchospasm (when muscles in the airways narrow) but amid questioning from coroner Dr Karen Henderson said that ‘stopped becoming the main issue at some point’.
The coroner asked whether other options could have been explored as they tried to save Teegan, whose heart became empty of blood.
It was suggested a bilateral tension pneumothorax (when air collects between the chest wall and lung) may have occurred while she was in cardiac arrest.
The hearing also heard there was a strong likelihood of her having surgical emphysema.
Initially, though, she was treated for anaphylaxis.
“How can it be that you treat her for anaphylaxis yet when there was no improvement no further steps were taken?” the coroner said.
She added: “It’s not about diagnosing but about excluding other possibilities.”
Dr McGlone said there was an ‘assumption things get better’ when different options are tried but said this was not necessarily the case, with it ‘taking time’ to establish results.
He added: “Difficulty in ventilation is a big part of this. Not everyone is blessed with this background.”
The doctor denied ‘inexperience’ played a role and described the situation as the ‘perfect storm’.
Meanwhile Adam Walker, the barrister for the family, suggested there had been a ‘missed opportunity’ to decompress Teegan’s chest earlier which might have ‘resulted in a different outcome’.
Dr McGlone said ‘maybe, maybe not’ but could not say on the ‘balance of probabilities’ if any other course of action would have saved Teegan.
The inquest previously heard Teegan may have had an adverse reaction to medication Carboprost which she was given for the suspected bronchospasm.
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