Baby badly scarred after suction cup used during birth

Kayden Carr's parents say staff at Ninewells Hospital were not trained to use the device.

Scarred: Kayden with mother Jessica Henderson. <strong>STV</strong>
Scarred: Kayden with mother Jessica Henderson. STV

NHS Tayside has been forced to apologise after a baby was left with horrific head injuries after untrained staff used a suction cup and forceps during his birth.

Kayden Carr’s parents believe their son has been left with a permanent scar and are now considering legal action.

Mother Jessica Henderson told STV News that she had been in labour for 27 hours at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee before Kayden was born.

She said: “It was horrible. The girl was pulling the suction cup when I wasn’t having contractions. It felt like they were ripping it out of me, it was so bad.


“The epidural was only working on one side so I was able to feel everything she was doing.

“She pulled it that hard the suction cup popped off. There was blood everywhere.”

Husband Darren Carr said medical staff did not know how to use the suction cup, and had to read instructions before beginning the procedure.

After Kayden was finally born, Ms Henderson said she became worried because he was not crying.


However, medical staff told the new mother her baby was fine.

It was only hours later that the family realised the extent of Kayden’s injuries, which they say will leave him scarred for life.

Ms Henderson said: “They put a hat on straight away, and it wasn’t until I was looking at him and took his hat off that I saw it.

“It was like they’d taken a chunk of skin off his head. It was like a big red doughnut on his head – just horrible.

“They said it could have been caused by the suction cup rubbing and twisting, but that shouldn’t have happened.”

The couple say they were refused a caesarean section because of a lack of theatre space – a claim denied by the health board.

Forceps and a suction cup should also not have been used, the family say, since none of the staff working that night had been trained in their use.


Kayden’s family is now seeking answers – and a guarantee that what happened to them will not happen to other babies born in Ninewells. 

In a statement, NHS Tayside medical director Dr Alan Cook said: “The head of midwifery and I have both met with Ms Henderson to apologise for her experience, for the distress this has caused and to discuss her concerns further.

“We will now undertake a full review of this incident. The findings and lessons learned will be shared with the baby’s parents and any recommendations to amend future care will be implemented.”

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