‘How I nearly died giving birth at JR’

Karen Osenton, from Kings Sutton, with her daughter, Annie Kay. NNL-160913-170930009
Karen Osenton, from Kings Sutton, with her daughter, Annie Kay. NNL-160913-170930009

A mum said she was ‘nearly killed’ during childbirth at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital because facilities were so poor and staff were too busy.

Karen Osenton lost 3.5 litres of blood during a planned Caesarean section when she had baby Annie in February.

Karen Osenton NNL-160920-092415001

Karen Osenton NNL-160920-092415001

A terrifying catalogue of events meant Mrs Osenton, of King’s Sutton, nearly lost her life and was only saved when a midwife realised her body had gone into total organ failure.

“The JR nearly killed me and all because they were too busy. The powers-that-be say it is unsafe to keep the Horton a consultant-led maternity unit but do they not realise how unsafe it is at the JR?” she said. “The staff did try their best but they are much too overworked to care for their patients.”

After her operation, during which she lost a litre of blood, the further loss of 2.5 litres of blood, development of pre-eclampsia and organ failure were missed.

As her agonised body went into shut down and she complained of severe pain, Mrs Osenton was advised to drink peppermint tea and relax.

She says a doctor refused to take blood tests from her newborn baby – thought to be suffering low blood sugar – because he was ‘too busy’.

When a new midwife on shift raised the alarm, consultants were called from home and an emergency operation carried out which saved Mrs Osenton’s life.

“While theatre was being reopened, a midwife concentrated on me, fully leaving one inexperienced midwife to look after all the other patients,” she said.

In the recovery room, Mrs Osenton was given another woman’s medication which she took for two weeks until the mistake was spotted.

“It was explained after that during that day, they had been too busy to really make sure I was okay and that a serious case review would take place. I have still not heard anything. I was told I was the third person to ‘bleed out’ in as many weeks.”

Mrs Osenton, who described the majority of antenatal care at the Horton as ‘amazing’ said her consultant at Banbury said her Caesarean section should happen immediately because of new complications, but JR doctors made her wait a further two weeks – she believes because they were too busy.

Mrs Osenton says that women’s urine samples built up in the lavatories; women were forced to give birth on trolleys in observation rooms; tests that took an hour at the Horton took four to eight hours at the JR and that her discharge took 11 hours because pharmacy was so stretched, her medication was delayed.