Medic accused of causing baby to be decapitated during birth says infant would have died anyway

Dr Vaishnavy Laxman, 43, who is accused of accidentally decapitating baby during a botched surgery said during a tribunal hearing that the baby would have died even if she had opted for a caesarian.

Weeping at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester, consultant Laxman said: “I was trying to deliver a live baby, I was trying really hard, possibly too hard. I did not intend to harm mum or the baby. I am distraught at the outcome and I am very sorry it did not come out the way I meant it.”

The incident occurred in while Laxman, who was nearing the end of a 24-hour shift, was working at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. Attempting to deliver the baby vaginally, Dr Laxman pulled on the breeched baby’s legs until the head was detached and stuck in the mother’s womb. The mother, who has been identified only as Patient A, had to undergo a caesarian to have the baby’s head removed.

Dr Laxman told the tribunal: “The plan was for the baby to be delivered by a Caesarian section and I went down to the labour suite to discuss the situation. I spoke to the patient saying I was sorry for the rush and and I remember saying the baby was quite small and I was going to examine her.

“When I examined the patient I found that the uterus was quite small and I found the cervix was about 4cm dilated. I asked the patient to push to see if I could deliver the baby vaginally and I remember going through various options available with the patient.

“I remember thinking should I try to deliver this baby. I still believed we had a very good chance of having the baby using other options than a c-section but we had to act fast.”

Dr Laxman said she wasn’t hopeful of getting the baby out alive even with a C-section.

During cross examination, Dr Laxman said she has delivered a lot of babies in the UK and India during the course of her training. “I did have experience with this. But I have never had everything with one patient before, it was a lot of complications,” she said.

Laxman has denied misconduct. Hearing continues.