Midwife guilty of causing severe brain injury to baby during birth
The birth took place at Centralsjukhuset in Kristianstad in 2016.The pregnancy was completely normal, but it ended in tragedy.
The mother, Johanna Adolfsson, was given medication intravenously for several hours to stimulate contractions, although her contractions were too close. This caused the baby to be deprived of oxygen, which resulted in brain damage.
Kristianstad district court writes in its verdict that the midwife ought to have stopped the intravenous medication or summoned a doctor. So she has been found guilty of causing bodily harm, gross offence. She was given a conditional sentence and a fine.
The trial has aroused great interest in the media. IVO, Inspektionen för Vård och Omsorg (the Health and Social Care Inspectorate), is the authority which is responsible for looking into mistakes that are made during medical care. It is highly unusual that mistakes lead to charges being brought against nursing staff.
The midwife had worked in the maternity unit for a number of years, and was amiliar with the routines. From the beginning she has denied any crime, but has admitted that several times during the night she increased the rate of the drops to stimulate contractions.
She says she had tunnel vision and was totally focused on getting the baby out.
The midwife's defence lawyer, Björn Hurtig, says:
– We're disappointed that she lost the case. This ruling can be of importance for other nurses and midwives too. Don't be surprised if we lodge an appeal.
Malin Tillgren, chair of the Vårdförbundet (he Swedish Association of Health Professionals) in Skåne, thinks there is a risk that fewer people will want to work in the care sector.
– Now staff can be sentenced in two instances, both by IVO and in an ordinary court. I believe this is something that may worry a lot of certificated care staff, she says.