Premature baby born in bathroom died two hours later, inquiry hears

Leo Lamont passed at University Hospital Monklands on February 15, 2019 after 27 weeks in the womb.

Woman in pre-term labour told to take painkillers hours before she gave birth in bathroom, inquiry hears NHS Lanarkshire

A baby born prematurely in his parents’ bathroom died two hours later in hospital, a probe has been told.

Leo Lamont died at University Hospital Monklands on February 15, 2019 after 27 weeks in the womb.

Leo’s “terrified” mum Nadine Rooney reported pain in her back and stomach to a midwife in the early hours of the morning.

Nadine gave birth to Leo moments before she and partner Anthony Lamont planned to head to hospital.

The expectant mother told Anthony to “catch” their son while she was in the bathroom of their home in Cumbernauld, Lanarkshire.

Leo was later found by medics to be bluish in colour and gasping for breath.

He was given CPR and resuscitation efforts but lost his life two hours later in hospital.

Nadine had been placed on high risk as she was a smoker and had a previous pre-term delivery at less than 36 weeks. 

A fatal accident inquiry continued into the death of Leo and two other babies who died in hospital hours after being born.

The probe had earlier looked into the death of Mira-belle Bosch, who died 12 hours and one minute after being born at Wishaw General Hospital in the early hours of July 2, 2021.

Ellie McCormick died in the early hours of March 5 2019 at Wishaw General Hospital, Lanarkshire.

The inquiry at Glasgow Sheriff Court was read a joint minute of agreed evidence into Leo’s case.

It stated that Leo’s mum Nadine Rooney had a miscarriage in 2018 after nine weeks.

She became pregnant again in September 2018 and was recorded as “high risk”.

Following a scan in November, a delivery date of May 2019 was set with no abnormalities found.

Nadine reported reduced fetal movements on January 28, 2019 and also described having no movement the previous day.

A scan on February 6 reported fetal movement, no pain nor fresh bleeding.

Bleeding was reported at a scan on February 13 and it was found that Nadine continued to smoke.

Advice was given to Nadine that she should stop smoking and to report to return for a maternity assessment should she experience further bleeding and discomfort.

Around 3.17am on February 15, Nadine contacted the Princess Royal Maternity Unit when she was around 27 weeks.

A call was made for an ambulance around 5am stating that Nadine had given birth to Leo ten minutes earlier on the bathroom floor.

The baby was reported as crying and breathing with intermittent gasping breaths.

Two ambulances were dispatched to Nadine’s home which arrived at 5.17am.

Nadine was on the floor with Leo between her legs and his umbilical cord still attached.

The baby was described as having a bluish discolouration of his skin, poor tone and intermittent gasping breaths.

CPR was started Leo by medics at 5.20am as well as resuscitation treatment, chest compressions and ventilation.

Leo was rushed at 5.42am to University Hospital Monklands which unfortunately did not have a neonatal unit or maternity services. Resuscitation continued during the journey.

Nadine was taken to hospital in a separate third ambulance as keys had been lost to the second which had initially been at the scene.

Leo’s heartbeat meantime was lower than 60 beats per minute which then rose to 65 beats during the resuscitation process which included an adrenaline injection.

The joint minute added: “Following a pulse check at 35 minutes, at approximately 6.28am, the decision was taken to discontinue resuscitative efforts.

“At this time, Leo was displaying agonal respiratory effort, but there were no other signs of life.”

Leo was passed to Ms Rooney and dad Anthony Lamont for them to hold. 

Life was pronounced extinct at 7.10am when Leo was two hours old at 27 weeks gestation at the time of his death.

A post-mortem carried out on Leo gave a cause of death as “perinatal hypoxia, presumed placental abruption and extreme prematurity.”

A separate joint minute stated that it is agreed that “following the admission of Nadine to hospital on February 13, there was not a precaution which could reasonably have been taken and which had it been taken might realistically have resulted in Leo’s death being avoided.”

Leo’s father Anthony earlier told the hearing that his partner had been checked over after passing a blood clot on February 13.

He stated that Nadine reported pain from her back which extended to her stomach in the early hours of February 15.

Anthony said Nadine was “worried” as she had experienced similar pains in her pregnancy with her previous child.

He stated a “terrified” Nadine phoned midwife Shona McPhee and that she was crying due to the pain.

The family’s lawyer Saima Faheem asked Anthony how he knew she was terrified.

He replied: “I could see the look of terror on her face – when you are with someone so long you can tell how they are. She passed the clot prior to that.

“I could see the fear in her eyes – she had a previous miscarriage as well – you could see she was upset and anxious.

“I could tell just by looking at her that she was going to break down crying – I could tell something wasn’t right.”

It was stated Nadine was told to take painkillers and apply a deep heat source.

Anthony told the probe that he waited an hour to see if Nadine would improve before going to hospital.

He stated that Nadine went to the toilet moments before they decided to leave for hospital.

He said: “Nadine told me that he was coming and I was to catch him.”

Expert midwifery professor Tracy Humphrey told the probe that Leo would have had an 80% chance of survival had he been born in hospital and given access to specialist neonatal services.

The inquiry continues before Sheriff Principal Aisha Anwar.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code