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Couple seek probe into baby's death

A young couple have called for an inquiry into how their newborn daughter suffered devastating injuries in hospital and died aged nine days.

Laura Newman, 21, and her partner Stefan Earp, 28, lost their daughter Imogen two days before Christmas, on December 23 2010, after she was starved of oxygen during delivery.

The couple have now called on the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to investigate the conduct of the midwife involved, who has since resigned from her post.

Miss Newman was admitted to Sandwell Hospital in Birmingham on December 13 2010 when she was already in the advanced stages of labour.

She claims she was repeatedly ignored by midwifery staff and was left alone for an hour and a half. When a midwife did check on her she refused her request for pain relief and told her: "Not at 3cm you're not."

Miss Newman and Mr Earp's solicitors, Irwin Mitchell, said Miss Newman was left alone for a further two hours and it was only when she started to bleed and felt an urge to push that her mother went to find the midwife.

Miss Newman claims she initially refused to attend saying that she had three other patients to deal with and when she did attend some minutes later, Miss Newman was found to be fully dilated and ready to deliver. But despite having a natural urge to push, the midwife told her not to, Miss Newman said.

When Imogen was born on December 14 she was blue and floppy, the cord was wrapped around her neck and she was not breathing. She was taken to a side room to be resuscitated and was then taken to Sandwell's neonatal unit but was later transferred to Heartlands Hospital.

Her condition deteriorated and on December 18 a decision was made to switch off the life support machine, but she defied odds and began to breathe on her own.

But the couple were told that nothing more could be done for their daughter and that she was unlikely to survive for much longer, so decided to take her home. Five days later, in the early hours of December 23, Imogen died in her sleep.

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