A BABY who died at just seven hours old could have been saved if midwives had intervened earlier, experts said.

Senniva Hirst died at 11.20pm at Salisbury District Hospital on November 10, 2015.

An inquest heard that her parents, Chris and Lisa Hirst of Fordingbridge, repeatedly voiced concerns that Senniva was cold, blue and grunting, as she was struggling to breathe in her first hour.

Giving evidence last week, Mrs Hirst said she was repeatedly told she was being “overly concerned”, adding: “At no stage, despite my concerns to the midwives, was Senniva examined.”

And Mr Hirst said he had been concerned after seeing “a thick, greenish brown substance”, during Senniva’s birth, which he now knows is meconium - the first faeces of a newborn, which can cause infection if it is inhaled by the baby in the womb.

Midwife Fiona Daniels delivered Senniva at 4.28pm with student midwife Sarah Quayle. Mrs Daniels said she “did not recall” seeing meconium, despite having noted it on Mrs Hirst’s chart.

She added: “Giving birth is mucky, sometimes what you see on the bed after delivery is a lot of different colours.”

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence guidance says thick meconium present at birth should prompt midwives to call a paediatrician immediately.

But the court heard a call was not put out until 5.35pm, more than an hour after Senniva was born, when she had turned “grey and floppy” and had stopped crying.

Neonatal expert Giles Kendall said the combination of meconium at birth, the grunting, and Senniva’s persistent blue colouring “should have prompted an immediate response”.

He added: “Had that been recognised and monitored, I believe the collapse would not have occurred”.

And consultant paediatrician Martin Ward Platt agreed, but said he had been “swayed” by the initial post mortem indicating pneumonia in Senniva’s lungs, which could have caused her respiratory problems.

Giving a preliminary view, Corner David Ridley said there had been a failure by hospital staff as “those in the delivery room should have, given the way Senniva was presenting herself, sought early paediatric assistance”.

Mr and Mrs Hirst and the hospital declined to comment before the inquest formally concludes on February 8.