Newborn died in Matera, the family against archiving

MATERA – «We don’t accept that things end up like this. We would have no peace. And we won’t have any until our baby’s death is cleared up. The Court of Matera closed the case. We ask, instead, to reopen the investigations for a duty of truth. We don’t know what to do with any compensation. He certainly won’t bring it back to us, our son. Instead, we want certain episodes to never happen again. May no one suffer for a child born dead.”

Daniel Perniola and his partner cannot resign themselves. What was supposed to be a long-awaited happy event threw them into a whirlwind of pain on January 18, 2021, which was supposed to be lived among bows and blue sugared almonds. The drama, however, took place in the Gynecology and Obstetrics department of the Madonna delle Grazie Hospital in Matera. The cause of the death of the unborn child, Perniola himself recounts, «would have occurred for “perinatal asphyxia secondary to massive meconial aspiration” (meconium is the first feces of the newborn, consisting of the material ingested by the fetus in intrauterine life, ed.). So said the consultants appointed by the prosecutor. I was by no means firm and accepted a death that we believe could instead have been avoided: so, I denounced everyone”.

Mr. Daniele and his partner are firmly opposed to the dismissal of the case, which took place on 31 May 2022, and have decided to proceed assisted by lawyers Valeria Montemurro And Antonio Uricchio.

“We want the truth about the facts, we will go ahead at all levels – he continues -. The filing of the case was motivated without questioning what the consultants of the prosecutor’s office said. Without considering the doubts raised, in turn, by our medical consultants with their expert reports, where the reconstruction of the facts highlighted the faults of the doctors that would have led to the death of our son, suggesting that it did not happen due to natural causes”.

A confirmed death «at 1.21 pm on January 18, 2021, when already at 6.28 am the cardiotocograph traces showed tachycardia in the fetus and variable decelerations with pejorative criteria, hypoxia and distress. At 8, the symptoms were confirmed and my consultations affirm that the indication was more than reasonable for a delivery by cesarean section».

More time passes, says Perniola, and «at 10.20 the doctors administer oxytocin, which stimulates contractions, to arrive at a natural birth in any case. Impossible in those conditions. But that made the situation worse because it only increased the stress on the fetus. In fact, the condition worsened, so much so that doctors were forced to rupture the membranes. Our experts point out that at that point the aspiration of meconium is inevitable: it would have already been deduced from the tracings. At 11 the decision was made for the caesarean section, which was then carried out at 11.52. It was decided very late to proceed with the extraction of the fetus. I am convinced that things would not have turned out like this. If already from the tracings the unborn child showed signs of hypoxia and worsening acidosis, I wonder together with our partisan consultants, what were the chances of arriving at a spontaneous birth with a favorable outcome? My partner and I will never stop fighting for justice to be done, not understanding why the Court even ordered the dismissal of the case, even if, according to the expert witnesses, there may have been errors in the health procedures ».

Perniola, then, who holds back his emotion in reliving those painful moments for him and his partner, adds only that “Providence wanted to fill the great void we had, the great moral suffering that still does not abandon us, giving us the gift of birth of a beautiful little girl. Obviously, not in Matera. But that will never make us give up on our intent. We seek only truth and justice.”

Newborn died in Matera, the family against archiving