Inquest opened into death of newborn baby nearly 15 years ago
- Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY
An Ipswich mum has raised concerns at a “lack of communication” from medical staff after her newborn baby son died at Ipswich Hospital at just over a day old.
At an inquest being held nearly 15 years after her baby son Riyad died in 2005, Bilkis Ali said she was told his death had been caused by a genetic condition likely to have resulted from her 'cousin marriage'.
The maths teacher, who went on to have three healthy baby girls, told Suffolk Coroners' Court she felt there was a "complete lack of communication" from the hospital about what happened to her son.
Mrs Ali said she had been shocked to find out several years later that a serious incident investigation had been carried out without her knowledge.
"I struggled to understand why Riyad had died," she said in a statement.
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"I was told there was a build up of acid in his body.
"I was so distraught and crying on my mother's shoulder.
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She added: "Because of questions and concerns about my husband, I blamed myself for this.
"I was desperate to have another baby, (but this) really took its toll on myself and my husband Abdul."
'Lack of communication'
Mrs Ali feared future children may suffer the same fate as Riyad.
She had two miscarriages after his death, but said experts at Addenbrooke's Hospital ruled out genetics as a factor.
Riyad's medical cause of death was given as inborn error of metabolism - and he did not have a post-mortem.
Several years later, ahead of the birth of her third child, Mrs Ali was asked to provide information about her previous pregnancies. After requesting past medical files, she said the official record and notes appeared at odds with what she heard in 2005.
They appeared to show a six-hour delay in carrying out an x-ray and a "lack of care" after his birth, Mrs Ali said.
Riyad, who was born on July 15 by natural delivery, weighed just 4.8lbs with suspected 'intrauterine growth retardation' - he was a small baby.
Describing him as "floppy" at birth, midwives gave him normal, healthy scores for his heart rate and blood sugars.
He ran a "hypothermic temperature" of 31.5C just after midnight on July 16.
'No intention' of hiding anything from family
Ipswich Hospital consultant Dr Michael Bamford, who had been on call that weekend, said Riyad's condition was not initially considered abnormal.
However, later that afternoon, Dr Bamford was asked to come in after Riyad rapidly deteriorated. He died a short time later.
"This baby was clearly extremely unwell with severe metabolic acidosis," he said, adding that cardiac and respiratory disease and infection had been ruled out.
"I felt sufficiently strongly to say this was the likely cause of death and I am still of that opinion."
However, he continued: "I have much regret that the family has felt we have let them down.
"I still feel the initial discussions relating to the cause of death were correct.
"At no stage during this did I intend to hide anything from the family."
The inquest continues.