Death of Ilford mum in maternity: Health trust apologises

PUBLISHED: 09:00 26 March 2011 | UPDATED: 09:32 26 March 2011

Usman Javed and Sareena Ali at Queen's Hospital, Romford, hours before Sareena gave birth to a stillborn baby. Sareena died five days later on January 28, 2011.

Usman Javed and Sareena Ali at Queen's Hospital, Romford, hours before Sareena gave birth to a stillborn baby. Sareena died five days later on January 28, 2011.


An excited father-to-be takes a picture of himself and his happy wife as they wait in the maternity ward for the birth of their first child

Sareena Ali and Usman Javed in happier times. Sareena died on January 28, 2011 at Queen's Hospital, Romford.

But just hours after this picture was taken, Tebussum Ali and Usman Javed’s baby was dead – stillborn after an emergency caesarian on the ward floor in Queen’s Hospital – and Tebussum was in a coma she would never recover from.

Tebussum, known as Sareena, of Ilford, died from irreversible cerebral anoxia – a shortage of oxygen to the brain.

It was revealed this week she was given the emergency caeserean after collapsing in pain, despite hours of pleas from husband Usman to nurses for help.

Attempts were made to revive her but staff only noticed the oxygen mask they were using was not connected to a supply when Usman highlighted the mistake.

Two midwives have been suspended and Queen’s admits the care it gave was unacceptable.

Heartbroken Usman, a 29-year-old mortgage consultant, said: “No other mothers must suffer the pain Sareena experienced.

“The chief executive should consider her position. She left uncaring and incompetent staff looking after my beloved wife.

“Nothing can bring her or my baby back, but she must take responsibility for this terrible tragedy which could – and should – have been avoided.”

Labour was induced when Sareena, from Ilford, was admitted to hospital on January 23.

She later became distressed and was in pain, but was not checked on for two and a half hours.

Solicitor Sarah Harman, acting for Usman, said: “I am concerned at the lack of attention given to Sareena. It seems she should have gone to the labour ward once labour was established, which was early evening.

“For some reason she was not sent there and while waiting, the ante natal ward failed to check on her.

“I don’t think understaffing was the problem. The problem was the attitude of the staff.”

In addition to the external investigation Usman plans to complain to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Averil Dongworth, chief executive of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals, said: “I would like to offer my sincere apologies and condolences to Mr Javed at this deeply distressing time.

“A full investigation is being carried out into the events surrounding Ms Ali’s death as the original cause was a very rare medical complication that has occurred at the trust only twice in ten years.

“This equates to 1 in 40,000 deliveries. It is important that this trust learns from, and shares, any lessons learnt.

“We are keeping Mr Javed fully informed, and have admitted that the care provided to Ms Ali during her early labour was of an unacceptable standard.

“The trust has been in open communication with Mr Javed’s solicitors and has advised that liability will not be disputed.”

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