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Grief prolonged for Maidstone parents as baby's inquest delayed by five months


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A young couple mourning the loss of their baby who died three days after a traumatic birth have had their grief prolonged because of delays in their daughter's inquest.

Elena Sala, 20, and David Matthews, 28, from Maidstone tragically lost their first daughter Rosanna in November last year after she was born at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury.

Maidstone couple David Matthews and partner Elena Sala with Rosanna
Maidstone couple David Matthews and partner Elena Sala with Rosanna

After six hours of "agony", Elena who was 19 at the time, gave birth by emergency caesarean section.

But sadly Rosanna died three days later after being in a coma from the moment she was born.

The couple are considering legal action as they feel Rosanna might still be alive today if it wasn't for the way some staff conducted themselves, claiming the midwives were "rude and disrespectful" and didn't listen to her when she felt there was something wrong.

An inquest was due to take place today at County Hall in Maidstone but one of the midwives due to give evidence was unavailable at the last minute.

As well as this, coroner Catherine Wood felt she needed to call another witness to give evidence before the hearing could go ahead.

Rosanna Claire Matthews died after being born at Pembury hospital in Tunbridge Wells
Rosanna Claire Matthews died after being born at Pembury hospital in Tunbridge Wells

She would like to hear from an expert obstetrician so they can give their opinion on the key facts that will be heard.

Mark Bowman from Fieldfisher, the lawyer representing the parents, said the last minute adjournment has been incredibly stressful for Elena and David.

He added: "It simply prolongs their grief having to now wait even longer to hear from the medical staff present at their daughter's death.

"It prevents them from beginning the process to move forward with their lives and the life of their new baby, Lola."

The Maidstone mum claimed she had been told by a consultant at the hospital things could have been different if Rosanna was delivered just seven minutes earlier.

David and Elena with Lola at Rosanna's grave
David and Elena with Lola at Rosanna's grave

The former Mascalls student said she had sepsis when she gave birth and alleged staff were "snappy and bickering" with one another, while an independent report found there was a failure to escalate her case to a senior clinical member of staff.

A report by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) found there was a failure to escalate monitoring after Elena made it clear she had urges to push.

There was also a failure to recognise the cardiotocography (CTG) trace, which monitors foetal heart rate and contractions, was abnormal and a failure to urgently escalate the case to a senior obstetrician after her pulse was found to be 130 beats per minute.

It also suggested that Elena should have been treated with a “bundle of medical therapies" known as the “Sepsis 6” after her temperature spiked during labour.

Elena and David now have another daughter, Lola who is just six-weeks-old. They described her as 'the light inside a long dark tunnel'.

The inquest will now take place over two days in March next year.

To keep up-to-date with all the latest developments with your local hospitals and other health stories, click here.

For more information on how we can report on inquests, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone

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