Intended for healthcare professionals


Obstetrician who delivered decapitated baby is cleared of wrongdoing by tribunal

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 06 June 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2506
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A consultant obstetrician whose attempt to deliver a premature baby feet first through a tight cervix ended in its decapitation will face no disciplinary sanction, after a medical practitioners tribunal found that her error of judgment did not amount to serious misconduct.

Vaishnavy Vilvanathan Laxman, 43, was nearing the end of a 24 hour split shift at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee in March 2014 when she was called to deal with a 30 year old first time mother, named only as Patient A, whose membranes had broken at 25 weeks’ gestation.

The baby was positioned feet first, the placenta was low, the mother was bleeding from the vagina, and the cervix was no more than 4 cm dilated and clamped around the baby’s calves.

Early in the …

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