1914 Coroner censures Midwife

July 1914

July 18th 1914.

Denaby Infant´s Death – Coroner Censures Midwife.

Mr. Frank Allen, District Coroner, held an inquiry at the Denaby Main Hotel on Friday touching the death of Albert Moore, the infant son of George Alfred Moore, of 15 William Street, New Conisbrough. The child died seventeen days after birth.

Midwife´s Evidence.

After the evidence of identification, Mrs. Margaret Ann Hatfield, a registered mid-wife, said she was present when the child was born on June 20th. The same night she was told that another woman whom she had been attending was suffering from puerperal fever. She knew it to be a dangerous and infectious disease. She continued to attend Mrs. Moore.

Continuing, witness said she saw Mrs. Moore once on 21st June ( the day after the child´s birth), and once on the day following that. On 23rd June she received a notice from Dr. Dunne, the Medical Officer, that she was not to attend again until she had been disinfected. She left a neighbour in charge on 24th June, and did not see Mrs. Moore again until 27th June, when she got permission from the Medical Officer to resume work. She did not think the child was healthy when it was born.

Doctor´s Warning.

Dr. James Ford said he first saw the child on 1st July. So far as he could tell it was born healthy, but it was then suffering from acute inflammation of the abdominal wall. Some infection had got in at birth or soon afterwards. The child got no better and died on 8th July of acute poisoning.

On 20th June he attended a Mrs. Smith who was suffering from puerperal fever, and the same night he warned Mrs. Hatfield of the danger which might arise if she attended other patients. He again saw Mrs. Hatfield on 22nd June and she did not seem to realise the danger.

The Coroner said he was much indebted to Dr. Ford for his conduct in the case.

Coroner´s Censure.

The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence, and asked the Coroner to speak to Mrs. Hatfield on the matter.

Addressing Mrs. Hatfield, the Coroner said she ought to know by this time that it was a very dangerous thing to attend a woman in confinement when she had been in touch with a case of puerperal fever. The jury hoped she would take steps to acquire that amount of knowledge which was reasonably necessary for the protection of her patients.

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