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Mum held in police cell after birthmark mistake

By Sophia Seth, BBC Information

BBC Laxmi Thapa in a parkBBC

Laxmi Thapa was held in police custody earlier than medical checks confirmed she had not harmed her child

The mom of a six-month-old child mentioned she was handled “like a criminal” after her son’s birthmarks have been mistaken for bruising.

Laxmi Thapa’s son was born with blue spot – blue-grey markings frequent on infants with brown or black pores and skin.

After being referred to hospital in Basingstoke she was arrested when medical employees and police adopted procedures for suspected little one abuse.

Campaigners have referred to as for higher consciousness of the situation and mentioned misdiagnosis will be “devastating” for wrongly accused households.

grey placeholderLaxmi Thapa Laxmi Thapa's baby son's leg with blue spot birthmarkLaxmi Thapa

Laxmi Thapa’s son was born with blue spot birthmarks on his physique

Ms Thapa, a Nepalese nationwide residing in Basingstoke, had taken her child to her GP in Might after changing into involved that the blue spot markings had grow to be darker and he had developed new ones.

Her son’s present blue spot – typically often called Mongolian blue spot – on a number of elements of his physique had been famous in his medical information, following his beginning in November.

Ms Thapa was referred to Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital the place she was arrested by police on suspicion of precise bodily hurt assault and neglect of her child.

The 29-year-old, who was breastfeeding on the time, spent 20 hours in a cell at Basingstoke Police Station till being launched pending a medical report.

“It was exhausting for me,” she said.

“I have never been separated from my baby since his birth.

“At the moment I used to be like a prison. I stayed in a single day in a cell like a prison.

“Without medical proof, they put me in custody.”

Her child was sorted by the hospital whereas she was detained and she or he was permitted to specific milk to permit him to be fed.

After her launch, a social providers house go to decided her son was not in peril.

A collection of scans later confirmed no skeletal accidents and a dermatologist decided the markings have been blue spot and never bruises. Police confirmed no assault had taken place.

Faye Wheeler, founding father of Blue Spot Marketing campaign, mentioned mentioned she receives common studies of misdiagnosis of the birthmarks, which she mentioned can seem after the a baby is born.

She mentioned: “There is a lot of devastation from families and this leads to mistrust with working with health professionals.

“There appears to be a whole lot of suspicion round blue spot. I really feel there’s a lack of training, there’s a lack of coaching.”

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it could not comment on individual cases, but said staff “could have adopted tips”.

“Safeguarding infants and youngsters will all the time take precedence,” it mentioned.

“Differentiating between suspected bruising and Mongolian blue spot is advanced, and protocols need to be adopted.”

grey placeholderExternal view of Basingstoke police station with car park in front

The 29-year-old mum was detained at Basingstoke police station

Det Ch Insp Gemma Anacora, from Hampshire Constabulary, said police automatically become involved when a case was referred as a child safeguarding issue.

She said: “I do sympathise, it should be a really troublesome state of affairs, nonetheless we do observe procedures, so her arrest was essential for us to acquire proof by questioning and to safeguard the kid by bail situations.”

Independent child protection researcher Dr Bernard Gallagher, from the University of Huddersfield, said it was an “applicable expectation” for agencies to intervene when child abuse was suspected.

“Generally they make errors and possibly they’re performing too drastically or too rapidly, however it’s a really troublesome stability to strike,” he said.

Ms Thapa said she had received a verbal apology from a doctor at the hospital.

She is working with local campaign group Basingstoke Unites Against Racism on an official complaint.

In a statement it said: “We’re dedicated to addressing all issues throughout the BAME group. This contains collaborating with exterior organisations, as we did on this case, to make sure complete help.”

Ms Thapa mentioned: “I’m going by this case that was unacceptable and I do not need others to,” she said.

“I do not need anybody to be separated from their child like I used to be.”

What’s Blue spot?

  • Marks that look blue-grey on the skin, like a bruise
  • Often found from birth on the lower back, bottom, arms or legs
  • Most common on babies with brown or black skin
  • They do not need treating and will usually go away by the age of four
  • The marks are not a sign of a health condition

Supply: NHS

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