A hospital has admitted that mistakes made by doctors during an emergency cesarean section directly lead to the death of a newborn baby in 2013.
Carson Allen died three hours after he was born as a result of a 2-inch cut in his head caused by doctors slicing too deep during a C-section, according to the Nottingham Post. Doctors desperately tried to save Carson's life but were unsuccessful.
One year later, Carson's death was ruled accidental. Following that ruling, Carson's parents took the hospital to court, seeking compensation. The case ended in December 2017 when the hospital admitted wrongdoing and reached an undisclosed settlement with Carson's parents, Claire Smith, 41, and Scott Allen, 42.
The couple said they initially thought their son's death was their fault, a feeling that's been hard to shake, despite the ruling.
"I have been put through hell fighting for the reassurance that I could not have prevented Carson's death," Smith said. "It isn't closure and the heartbreak will never end but it has given me peace of mind knowing my baby boy's death was not my fault."
Smith said she still goes to the cemetery twice a day to visit Carson's grave.
"He was only here for a short amount of time but he will forever be in my heart," she said.
The couple also has an 18-year-old son and a 22-year-old daughter.
Smith spent so long blaming herself in part because of surgery she had in 2011 that can cause complications in pregnant women. Smith didn't realize she was carrying Carson until 27 weeks into the pregnancy.
During an investigation, it was discovered that Nottingham City Hospital in England failed to properly inform Smith of the risk involved with the 2011 surgery. Doctors also failed to realize the implications of the surgery on her pregnancy despite the procedure being fully documented in her medical records.
"We reiterate the trust's condolences to the family on the death of their son, Carson, and apologize for the shortfalls in our care, mindful that no words or amount of money can undo the harm and distress the family have experienced as a result of this case," said Dr. Lucy Kean, head of service for obstetrics and gynecology for Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital.
"I thought the cut on Carson's head was because of the procedure I had in 2011 -- it wasn't until the result of the post-mortem that I found out it was created by a scalpel," Smith said, reports the Nottingham Post.
A 2015 report said approximately 25 percent of babies born in the U.K. are delivered via C-section, according to the BBC. The procedure is reportedly even more common in the U.S. According to Wired, one-third of babies are delivered via C-section.