A PREMATURE baby tragically died just hours after medical professionals assumed that she was stillborn, an inquest heard.

The inquest into the death of James and Gertrūda Kearney's daughter Savannah, heard she was only a few hours old when she died in Colchester Hospital.

The inquest heard that on the night of July 26, 2021, Mrs Radvilaite was admitted to hospital after suffering severe abdominal pains.

Mrs Radvilaite, then 29 weeks pregnant, was transferred to the maternity unit where she was told a urinary tract infection was the source of the pain.

Only a few hours after being discharged, Mrs Radvilaite started experiencing extreme discomfort, and Mr Kearney called for an ambulance.

Two paramedics arrived at shortly before 3am, by which time Mrs Radvilaite had gone into labour.

In Chelmsford on Monday, area coroner for Essex Lincoln Brookes oversaw an inquest which centred on why ambulance paramedics – and later a midwife at Colchester Hospital – failed to test for Savannah’s heartrate using a stethoscope for nearly an hour after she had been born.

The inquest heard how neither of the paramedics, who had been qualified for a combined four years, had considered osculating Savannah and had assumed she had been stillborn.

Despite this, a heartbeat was detected nearly an hour later when Savannah was seen by a paediatrician at Colchester Hospital, but by this time she had been hypothermic and hypoxic for a considerable period of time.

Expert witness Dr Simon Mitchell said: “When the paramedics retrieved Savannah they found no detectable pulse, but they didn’t listen by stethoscope.”

Savannah was transferred to Colchester Hospital, arriving at about 3.30am, but even after her arrival, a midwife did not note a sign of life.

Dr Mitchell said: “I find these failings to make an adequate assessment of heartrate are likely to have led to a significant delay in resuscitation."

By the time a heartrate was detected and resuscitation was attempted, it was concluded Savannah’s internal organs had been damaged irreversibly, and she died at 5am.

The coroner said: “Had they carried out the appropriate tests they would have realised she was alive and it is more than likely that she could have been revived at hospital.

“Furthermore, the uncontrolled birth could have been avoided altogether the previous evening during a visit to the hospital, when her mother could have been handed onto the ward and Savannah could have survived her birth."