Baby dies at Yorkshire hospital after mother given abortion pill at 30 weeks pregnant

The baby, named Ronnie by his parents, was born alive at York Hospital but later died four days later. Credit: MEN Media

A baby died after his mother took an abortion pill when she was 30 weeks pregnant, an inquest has heard.

The woman, from East Yorkshire, gave birth in a toilet at York Hospital after taking abortion medicine on 26 October last year, believing her baby was just 12-weeks-old.

The evidence was heard during an inquest in Hull on 11 April into the baby’s death. No family were present and all the evidence heard was in written form.The inquest heard the mother gave birth to the baby in a toilet at the hospital after taking the drug mifepristone. Staff realised the baby was alive and immediately began to resuscitate him.Named Ronnie by his parents, the baby was rushed to the Jessop Wing maternity unit in Sheffield where desperate attempts were made to save him.

He had suffered a number of problems, including multiple organ failure, and was seriously unwell. He died four days later despite being given maximum life support care.

A serious incident investigation was carried out by independent medical practitioner Jacqui Evans.

She found the "volume of patients had severely increased" which "increased the time taken to assess patients".She said there had been an "information overload" and staff had "too much to do". She also raised concerns about the communication between staff due to the "severe internal pressure".She concluded that, had the patient been referred earlier, it is likely the advanced pregnancy would have been identified. While Ronnie was born prematurely, in normal circumstances a baby born at 31 weeks would have a 95 per cent chance of survival.Senior coroner Professor Paul Marks praised the staff who acted quickly to try and save Ronnie. He said they should be "commended for this".He said that had the true length of pregnancy been identified correctly and if the baby had been born in an appropriate setting he would probably have survived.

A narrative conclusion into Ronnie's death was delivered by the coroner. He said: "Ronnie was born alive on 26 October, 2021, after a legal termination of pregnancy by the internal use of drug mifepristone. He was deemed as being viable and was resuscitated and then treated at the Jessop Wing in Sheffield. Despite this, his condition deteriorated relentlessly."