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Byline: Amy Devine

A HEARTBROKEN couple told yesterday how their newborn girl died after medics used controversial forceps to deliver her.

Psychologist Dr Craig Campbell and his wife Beatrix watched tiny Alexandra die three days after she was born.

The couple had finally conceived through IVF treatment after five years of trying for a child.

But Alexandra passed away after Beatrix's pleas for a Caesarean during a nightmare labour were ignored.

Instead, a junior doctor performed a risky technique to move her baby - who was stuck sideways - using forceps.

The tot suffered a severe spinal injury after her head was rotated while her body stayed still.

The parents want an inquiry into their daughter's death at Edinburgh Royal Inf irmary's Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health.

Beatrix, 32, said: "To walk out of a hospital that had destroyed my strong, healthy child was just devastating."

Beatrix and Craig , from Edinburgh, were so desperate to have a baby they both underwent surgery and had IVF treatment to conceive.

Their baby was two weeks overdue so Beatrix was taken into hospital to be induced in June. After 30 hours, she was still lodged sideways and exhausted Beatrix asked doctors for a Caesarean.

But the request was refused and 10 hours later, she was seen by a consultant who said the baby must be turned using forceps.

A junior doctor in his second year of training then carried out a tricky procedure called Kielland's forceps to turn Alexandra. But the 9lb 4oz newborn was seriously hurt.

Beatrix said: "She didn't cry as they rushed her off to the neonatal ward.


"Craig told me later he knew straight away that Alexandra wouldn't live and he was afraid that because I was so ill, I would die too."

Alexandra was put on life support and her parents were told she wouldn't live.

Beatrix added: "When we asked when she would die, we were simply told they didn't know."

Three days later, the couple refused permission for their baby to have surgery for a perforated gut and doctors later said it was time to turn off the machines keeping her alive.

Beatrix said: "It would have caused only more suffering. I was terrified my baby would die on the operating table without ever being cuddled.

"Craig held Alexandra in his arms as it was being done. I couldn't because I was in too much pain.

"It took two hours for her to die because her heart was so strong."

Studies show the use of forceps carries a higher risk of birth injury than other methods, including Caesareans.

There has been a decline in the use of forceps worldwide, with some experts abandoning the method completely.

Despite worldwide concerns, one in 20 babies is still delivered using forceps. And 170 babies are born in a Kielland's forceps delivery at the Simpson unit every year.

Leading US surgeon Atul Gawande, head of the World Health Organisation's safer surgery initiative, said: "If you're seeking the safest possible delivery of every baby you have to take notice of the steady reports of terrible forceps injuries to babies and mothers, despite the training that clinicians have received."

Campaigners believe some hospitals are cutting the number of Caesareans, which cost double a normal birth.

A spokesman for the Royal Infirmary said: "This tragic death is being investigated by the procurator fiscal as is routine following a death in hospital. As this is still under way we are unable to comment any further."


DEVASTATED: Beatrix and Craig and, above, Edinburgh's Simpson maternity unit
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 24, 2010
Next Article:LIFE IS A CHORE.

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