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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.


(26 Posts)
kitkat098 Tue 26-Nov-13 15:43:49

Hi sorry I'm new here and didnt know how to work it.

My daughter was born after a difficult labour using the ventouse suction cap. Her head circumference was measured on the 50th percentile, it was then measured 1 week and 2 days later and it was at the 99.6th percentile ( the highest you can get on the chart I have ) nothing was said or mentioned by health visitor. At 6 weeks old my daughter collapsed in my partners arms and was rushed to hospital via ambulance where they found she had swelling in the brain & bleeding. This case is being sent to court to find the cause, the health visitor has just mentioned her head circumference to the court. What this post is basically for is to see if people think this could be caused by birth and if the health visitor is to blame for not recognising it before she fell ill?

Sirzy Tue 26-Nov-13 16:00:20

Considering that in a lot of areas head circumference isn't measured, and just a cm or 2 inaccuracy would make a massive difference to the centiles I think personally it is just one of those tragic things which couldn't be avoided.

If she was otherwise healthy then there would have been no reason for them to suspect anything.

CrazyOldCatLady Tue 26-Nov-13 16:29:15

Head circumference is a notoriously difficult measurement to keep track of because it depends on where exactly you measure. Putting the tape at a slightly different angle could result in a huge leap up or down the centiles. I wouldn't hold the HV responsible at all.

sopsmum Tue 26-Nov-13 16:34:40

I'm not a hcp but it seems to me that there was a massive variation in measurement in a week and the HIV should have referred your dd for investigation (assuming she had our red book etc) Otherwise why take the measurements? Sorry you are having to deal with this.

Sirzy Tue 26-Nov-13 16:39:05

Soap - its only about 3cm between the two. At most I would have expected a "we will check in a few weeks" but really like crazy said its so hard to measure it accurately. I think expecting a refferal for everyone after one possible odd measurement is overeacting.

worldgonecrazy Tue 26-Nov-13 16:45:21

If it has gone to court then you could be prejudicing the case by talking about it on here. I would ask for the thread to be deleted asap. Just report your own post and ask Mumsnet to do this.

kitkat098 Tue 26-Nov-13 16:51:16

Ok so ..
1. My daughter nearly died. I want to get to the bottom of this for us as parents own piece of mind
2. She was newborn & 1 week and 2 days old when measurements where took, she was sleeping as any normal baby that age would do.
3. 3cm is a very big jump in my opinion especially in just over a week.
4. No one is going to court for this, it's going to court to look through all medical things to see if we can determine what happened.

Sirzy Tue 26-Nov-13 16:55:14

It is awful when a child is ill but really you need to stop looking for someone to blame and try to move on.

Doesn't matter if she was sleeping or not it is still very hard to measure, like I said a lot of areas don't even measure it.

YomAsalYomBasal Tue 26-Nov-13 17:00:49

I think you need to focus your energies on your child now rather than looking for someone to blame. I have a child with hydrocephalus. Head circumference is notoriously tricky to monitor.

kitkat098 Tue 26-Nov-13 17:01:41

Im not looking for someone to blame because in fact I really like the health visitor. Im trying to find out what happened to her ( if it was caused at birth ) we as parents need to put the situation behind us but how can we if we dont know how it happened?

BertieBowtiesAreCool Tue 26-Nov-13 17:02:22

DS' was not measured at birth.

I'm sorry that your daughter was taken ill, and I'm glad to hear she's recovering. I would imagine that this particular incident is very rare and that as others have said there are too many issues with head circumference measurements for it to be worthwhile to use it as a screening method - you mentioned that she was born via Ventouse, this can make a baby's head tend towards an elongated shape which then rounds out later. In fact any baby born vaginally can have this - DS looks like a proper conehead in his newborn photos!

Sirzy Tue 26-Nov-13 17:03:17

Sometimes things happen for no reason, my son nearly died at 8 weeks old it was a horrendous time but you can't move on if you keep trying to relive it. Perhaps you need to see your GP for help if you are really struggling to move on?

Your posts read very much as if you are looking for someone to blame.

TheRobberBride Tue 26-Nov-13 17:10:49

I'm sorry this has happened to you but you really are not going to get definitive answers from asking on an Internet forum.

If the HV has been talking to a court then presumably some kind of investigation is ongoing? Hopefully that will give you some answers.

FWIW, my DC2 never had her head circumference measured at all.

kitkat098 Tue 26-Nov-13 17:12:49

They measured her head after it had settled down as i was in hospital for 5 days as I had to have a blood transfusions. I would be able to let go of it but I cant until I find out what caused it because something obviously did? Sorry if you got the wrong end of the stick the reason I said "health visitor to blame" as if she was I wouldn't want anything happening to her or her job. She is a great women and I feel lucky to have had such a good midwife. Maybe I worded it wrong but im in no way looking for someone to blame, im looking for what could have caused it.

Sirzy Tue 26-Nov-13 17:15:40

Something causes all medical problems but it doesn't mean you can always identify what it is and you are at risk of making yourself ill by trying to get answers for questions which are unanswerable.

BertieBowtiesAreCool Tue 26-Nov-13 17:16:00

Babies can just be born with the potential for this - a relative recently had the same condition (they are an adult) and it was frightening and worrying, and we/they don't know the cause. One of the causes is just being born with something that makes it more likely to happen. This cannot be picked up at birth.

Also, surely if the 3cm jump was due to the swelling in the brain, it would have continued to grow, over 6 weeks this would have been extremely obvious. I don't think it's related. It may even have happened suddenly at 6 weeks old which would have meant there would be no symptoms at the time she was measured.

LIZS Tue 26-Nov-13 17:17:32

Are you in UK ? There seems to be confusion re Midwife/hv and not sure why it would have gone to court unless you were suing for medical negligence. Perhaps you could clarify the situation . Unfortunately these things happen, often with very little reason but possibly due to infection or a virus . I doubt something so drastic would take 6 weeks to become apparent if all appeared well in the meantime but I'm not a medic.

TheRobberBride Tue 26-Nov-13 17:21:19

Sorry if I've misunderstood OP but your references to court suggest that your DDs case is already subject to official investigation. Is that right? Why not wait and see what the findings are? I understand you wanting to get to the bottom of this but surely efforts are already being made to do just that?

kitkat098 Tue 26-Nov-13 17:31:21

It continued to grow it grew 6cm in the 6 weeks, 3cm in 1 week 2 days, after she fell ill her circumference stabilised and followed the same curve. She did have symptoms such as vomiting, not taking feeds, sleeping, crying high pitched, we were told these were all normal ( but it wasn't because the length she wasnt taking feeds for ect ) yes its officially getting investigated but as I said I dont want anything to happen to health visitor. These proceedings started as when there is a child present with an illness that no one can understand it needs to be investigated to find the cause.

Sirzy Tue 26-Nov-13 17:34:32

Some serious drip feeding going on here....

LIZS Tue 26-Nov-13 17:35:42

These proceedings started as when there is a child present with an illness that no one can understand it needs to be investigated to find the cause. Really , in UK ? Not sure why you want to protect HV if you feel she misread the signs for 6 weeks.

starfishmummy Tue 26-Nov-13 17:51:47

Sirzy I agree. Drip drip drip.

cestlavielife Wed 27-Nov-13 15:54:18

i know its wrong to link nbut in your other thread you say "She is now a healthy one year old with no disabilities or anything"

so i dont understand why anything is gong to any court.
you dont need any compensation to care for her etc

DeWe Thu 28-Nov-13 09:54:11

As others have said head circumference is hard to measure and 1cm inaccuracy can make apparently quite a lot of centile difference.

Ds caused a slight panic in the midwife when his head centile apparently went down by 1cm between birth and 10 days, going from the 50% down to the 2%. He was measured regularly for small head after that-until the conclusion was the official medical diagnosis "he just has a small head, and the first reading was inaccurate" !

Otoh both my girls have dh's side big heads. Dd1 jumped from the 50% to 91% in 10 days, dd2 wasn't measured at birth, but her head was similar size at 10 days.

Ime would be that the 3cm in the first 10 days would be slightly watched, but then anly another 3cm in the next 4.5 weeks, it would have looked like it was following the centile line. So the conclusion would be that the first measurement was inaccurate (and the ventous can cause the head to come out elongated (hence narrower) so that would potentially cause a small first reading anyway) and now she was following the centile lines.

Not everything can be medically explained, although we'd like to sometimes. My df first, longed for baby, stopped breathing the first night. No causes ever found despite extensive tests.
My dd2 was born without a hand. There are theories why this happens, no definite answers most of the time (there are certain genetic conditions but they are the exception rather than the rule)
I don't think going to court and raking over either of our experiences would be best for us, or for our children. Sometimes it is better to move on and not spend time on what might have happened.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 28-Nov-13 09:59:26

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

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