Doc decapitated baby during delivery

Dr Vaishnavy Laxman attempted to deliver the premature infant naturally although the baby boy was in a breech position, news reports said.
Dr Vaishnavy Laxman attempted to deliver the premature infant naturally although the baby boy was in a breech position, news reports said.PHOTO: CAVENDISH PRESS

UK gynaecologist allegedly ignored advice to do C-section

LONDON • A British consultant gynaecologist could be struck off the medical register for decapitating an unborn baby in the womb, while she was carrying out a delivery for a 30-year-old mother in 2014.

Dr Vaishnavy Laxman, 41, attended to the mother with a team of other doctors at the Ninewells Hospital in Dundee on March 16, 2014, when the tragedy occurred.

According to British media reports, Dr Laxman should have performed an emergency caesarean section as the premature infant was in a breech position.

However, she allegedly ignored advice and carried out a natural delivery.

The mother, known only as Patient A during Thursday's hearing by the British Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester, was told to push while traction was applied to the baby's legs.

As a result of this, the infant's legs, arms and torso became detached from the head, reported The Guardian.

INCONSOLABLE

I don't forgive you, I don't forgive you.

BABY'S MOTHER, to Dr Vaishnavy Laxman during the hearing.

BEST INTENTIONS

She knows that no amount of words can or will soften your pain but she is hoping that knowing that what she was trying to do was her very best to deliver your baby quickly and sufficiently and she had best intentions at heart.

MR GERARD BOYLE, Dr Laxman's lawyer, addressing the mother during the hearing.

Two other doctors later carried out a caesarean section to remove the baby's head, before it was reattached to his body, so that his mother could hold him to say goodbye.

The Telegraph reported that the mother had come face to face with Dr Laxman during the hearing.

"I don't forgive you, I don't forgive you," she said, as she looked at Dr Laxman, who has denied contributing to the death of the baby.

According to The Telegraph, the mother's water had broken early at 25 weeks and upon examination, her unborn baby was found to have a prolapsed cord. The infant was in a breech position, while the mother's cervix was around 2cm to 3cm dilated.

But it was revealed at the hearing that it has not been established whether the mother was in labour.

Recounting her ordeal, the mother said that she was told in an earlier scan that her son would be delivered by caesarean section.

But when she was taken to the labour suite, nobody had told her what was happening, she claimed.

"I was not given gas and air - I was in pain. I had the doctors putting their hands inside me and I had them pushing on my stomach and then pulling me down," she said.

"I tried to get off the bed but they pulled me back three times and just said they had to get the baby out.

"They twice tried to cut my cervix and nobody told me they were going to do it. There was no anaesthetic. I said to them 'it doesn't feel right, stop it, what's going on, I don't want to do it', but nobody responded to me in any way."

She told the hearing: "I would never use the word 'stillborn'. He was not stillborn. He was decapitated."

Dr Laxman's lawyer, Mr Gerard Boyle, addressed the mother during the hearing and said: "Dr Laxman has asked me to say she is so very sorry and deeply saddened for the outcome of your baby.

"She knows that no amount of words can or will soften your pain but she is hoping that knowing that what she was trying to do was her very best to deliver your baby quickly and sufficiently and she had best intentions at heart."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2018, with the headline 'Doc decapitated baby during delivery'. Print Edition | Subscribe