A British couple is taking legal action after their newborn died in May, following what they described was a "horror film" delivery.
Winter Vernon was born on May 10 at Ormskirk Hospital in Lancashire, England, the Liverpool Echo reported. However, the infant was transferred to Alder Hey Children's Hospital the following day, where doctors claimed she died of severe fractures to the skull.
Vernon's parents, both from Netherton, believe the use of forceps in their child's delivery contributed to her death.
The deceased infant's 27-year-old mother, Marisa Sheard, was initially told on the day of the delivery that she was still not fully dilated and would need to give birth via an emergency Caesarean section.
The beautician — originally from Formby — was given two epidurals and could feel nothing from the waist down as she was wheeled into the operating theater on May 10. She was then told she was fully dilated and could give birth naturally upon arriving in the theater.
Both Sheard and her 35-year-old partner Michael Vernon, who was also present at the time, claimed it soon became clear something was wrong.
The doctor handling the delivery was using his forceps with "excessive force," Sheard said. The force allegedly pulled Sheard down the bed and she had to be pulled back up by the midwives.
Additionally, the doctor was also pulling even when Sheard was not contracting, she claimed. A midwife even allegedly shouted, "She is not contracting," at the doctor at one point, but he still proceeded to pull Sheard down the bed.
Winter was delivered after the doctor had "to do cuts" on Sheard, but the newborn came out looking "battered and bruised" and even "lifeless," according to the report.
"As soon as the baby came out, I could see the injuries. The top of her skull was all caved in," Michael, who is a civil engineer, was quoted as saying.
"You could literally see the shape of the forceps indented into her skull and you could see a big cut four or five inches just above her eye. I have that memory in my head for the rest of my life, I will never forget that, ever. It is like a horror film for me," he added.
The two were allegedly contacted by someone claiming to be a staff at Ormskirk Hospital in the days following Winter's death, which raised whistleblowing concerns about the way the delivery was handled.
An investigation into the death has been launched by Sefton, St. Helens and Knowsley senior coroner Julie Goulding. Winter's medical cause of death has been withheld.
The case has also been referred to the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch and the Care Quality Commission.
Ormskirk Hospital, for its part, launched an investigation into Winter's death but did not comment further pending the coroner's complete inquiry, according to Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust medical director Dr. Kate Clark.