Mum dies in childbirth seconds after seeing new baby as devastated widow seeks answers

A woman has tragically died seconds after meeting her newborn son after she went into cardiac arrest in the delivery suite.

Bernadette Horsey’s devastated widow Aaron is now demanding answers after his wife died aged just 31, and leaving their newborn son Tim.

Aaron, 31, told Nottinghamshire Live : “Bernadette did actually see Tim for all of a few seconds, at which point she then collapsed.”

He says he still has unanswered questions from that day in January when his son was born and wife died at the Royal Derby Hospital and has raised concerns about her care and the subsequent investigation.

He said: “She was absolutely lovely, so caring and lovely. Bernadette had hundreds of friends, real and genuine ones.

“She had touched so many people that I wasn’t aware of until her funeral. It was an endless stream of people who had genuine heart-warming stories.

“You could have filled the room twice over with people who had such stories. There’s a lot of people who miss her.”

Aaron and Bernadette, who worked at Nottingham University Hospitals had decided to move her care to Derby as she was “acutely aware” of the problems within NUH’s maternity services.

Aaron said his wife’s care was “generally pretty good”, with a C-section having gone “smoothly”.

However, Aaron raised concerns about the time just after Bernadette gave birth, when she went into cardiac arrest.

He claims despite there being many medical professionals around, none were quick enough to recognise she had gone into a cardiac arrest, and that no-one was assigned to be watching her at the time.

“You have to worry how a whole team of medical professionals don’t notice when a woman has gone into cardiac arrest,” said Aaron.

“There wasn’t anybody watching her at that specific point in time and it was just after Tim had been born.”

Dr James Crampton, interim medical director at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton, said: “Our condolences are very much with Aaron and his family at this difficult time.”

The trust said there was no period during a theatre procedure where the patient is not closely observed, adding that oxytocin is given as normal practice during caesarean sections as it reduces the risk of post-partum haemorrhage.

The Derby and Derbyshire Coroner Service confirmed it was investigating the death of Mrs Horsey.

Dr Crampton said that an investigation by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) had not, to date, identified any safety recommendations to the trust.

However, Aaron said this was “quite shocking”.

“I understand they’re not trying to blame the hospital but my concern is that there could be an insidious continuation of a lack of safety improvements,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) said: “As per the directions that govern us, we are not able to provide a statement, confirm or comment on any of the specific details of any investigations, either whilst they are progressing or once complete.

“Investigation reports are only shared from us to the trust and the family.”