British doctor found guilty of misconduct for accidentally decapitating baby in the womb

A medical tribunal ruled that Dr Vaishnavy Laxman (above) should have performed an emergency caesarean section on the mother, as the premature infant had been in a breech position.
A medical tribunal ruled that Dr Vaishnavy Laxman (above) should have performed an emergency caesarean section on the mother, as the premature infant had been in a breech position.PHOTO: CAVENDISH PRESS

A British gynaecologist was on Monday (June 4) found guilty of medical misconduct, after she accidentally decapitated an unborn baby in the womb.

A medical tribunal ruled that Dr Vaishnavy Laxman, 43, should have performed an emergency caesarean section on the 30-year-old mother, as the premature infant had been in a breech position.

Instead, she tried to carry out a natural delivery for the mother at the Ninewells Hospital in Dundee on March 16, 2014.

According to British media reports, her decision had "set in train a cause of events" that resulted in the decapitation of the baby, known only as Baby B.

"Dr Laxman had not sufficiently addressed in her mind the risk to Baby B by proceeding with a vaginal delivery - namely the risk of head entrapment and the delay this complication would inevitably cause," said Mr Tim Bradbury, who chaired the fact-finding panel.

Dr Laxman, who qualified in India before coming to Britain in 2004, should not have assumed a caesarean section would have no prospect of success, the panel added.

Denying any wrongdoing, Dr Laxman said that she believed the baby would have died had a caesarean section been carried out, reported British newspaper Telegraph.

 

Mr Bradbury told the tribunal that Dr Laxman delivered the baby's body without difficulty, but the head became trapped in the uterus, with the neck in the cervix.

She then mounted what the tribunal viewed as an "increasingly desperate attempt" to deliver the baby's head.

The mother's water had broken early at 25 weeks. Her cervix was between 2cm and 4cm dilated. It would have been 10cm if fully dilated.

Dr Laxman is due to face further hearings to determine whether she should be struck off.