Health chiefs are probing a botched caesarian after a surgeon sliced a newborn baby's head and left her with a scar. 

Emma Edwards' daughter Karmen has been left with a one-and-a-half-inch scar between her eye and ear.

The mum said a locum doctor who made the incision as part of a caesarian section later claimed she had not been told that Emma was in labour as she performed the procedure. 

Emma has been left traumatised by the incident which had been followed by a series of upsetting delays to the operation. 

And she was also put through an agonising 24 hour wait for a plastic surgeon to come and stitch her newborn's wound. 

The 21-year-old said the mistake could have had far more serious consequences - and claimed the care she and her baby received had been a "disaster from the start to the end". 

She was initially booked into Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for a caesarean section on the morning of Thursday June 16 because of the large size of her baby in scans. 

Emma travelled from her home in Wick, Caithness, the day before with her partner, George McPhee, 26. 

She said: "We went to the hospital on Thursday morning, about 8am. 

"The hours kept passing and kept passing. Eventually at 5pm they said 'we can't do it because there are too many emergencies'. 

"Then they promised me it would be first thing on Friday morning, so we stayed overnight again. 

"Nobody came to me until about 12pm that day, then they cancelled again. 

"It was just a disaster from the start to the end." 

The family returned to Wick on the Friday night before having to travel back to Inverness on the Sunday evening so she could have her baby on the Monday morning. 

At 3am her waters broke, and she went to Raigmore three hours later. 

She added: "When I went in I passed on to the midwife that my waters had broken at 3am and I was in a lot of pain, I was contracting, but they didn't look me over. 

"At 10am I was ready. I went down for my section and everything was fine until after they delivered the baby. 

"They rushed her off to SCBU (special care baby unit) because they had cut her head. 

"The surgeon came and spoke to me afterwards and said that it happened because I hadn't told anyone that my waters had broken and was in labour, but I checked my medical records and it said that I had explained that. 

"There's a maternity unit right on my front doorstep but they just can't do anything. 

" My family had to travel down on the Thursday and then they had to travel back and then down again. It's expensive. 

"They want a meeting to speak about what happened. They're launching an investigation into the surgeon because she doesn't work for NHS Highland. She was a locum." 

The cut on the baby's head was not stitched up until the following day because the hospital had to wait for a plastic surgeon to arrive from Aberdeen. 

A health board spokesman said an internal investigation is being carried out into the incident. 

He said: "NHS Highland does not comment on individual cases. We are carrying out an internal investigation into this incident." 

Details of the blunder emerged amid an ongoing controversy over expectant mums from Caithness having to travel more than 100 miles to Inverness to give birth. 

The threshold for sending mothers to Raigmore was lowered last year after a baby girl died of the E.coli sepsis infection just 40 hours after being born at Caithness General Hospital in Wick. 

A recent study of almost 900 women who underwent C-sections showed that between 1.5 per cent to 1.9 per cent of the infants experienced cuts. 

Nicola Sinclair, secretary of the Caithness Health Action Team campaign group, said it was a "distressing" case which "highlights the dangers of cutting services to remote areas". 

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