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Medical Negligence Case Studies: Birth Injury Compensation Claim

31 August 2012

In this Medical Negligence case study, Clinical Negligence Solicitor Iona Meeres-Young represented a woman in a claim for losses arising from negligence following management of her child birth labour in April 2010. 

Our client was admitted to the Defendant’s hospital for induction of labour on 6th April 2010. The epidural was sited at 22:00 hours and on 7th April 2010 at 04:40 hours the individual was noted to be actively pushing.

Due to the prolonged second stage of labour our client was taken to theatre and a decision was made to proceed to a caesarean section. Our client’s son was delivered by caesarean section at 07:02 hours. Upon delivery the baby was said to be floppy without respiratory effort and was transferred to SCBU in an incubator.

Our client’s child was later transferred to another hospital and was examined by a Consultant at 01:00 hours on 8th April 2010 where a large subaponeurotic haemorrhage was diagnosed. Sadly, the decision was made to turn off the child’s life support machine and he died at 11:16 hours on 10th April 2010 at just over 3 days of age.

A clinical negligence claim was brought against the Defendant on the basis that there was a negligent early decision to perform operative vaginal birth after only 35 minutes of pushing. It was submitted that this was an unreasonable time for them to consider this a prolonged second stage of labour. Our client also submitted that the Defendant was negligent in transferring her to theatre and in conducting operative vaginal delivery. Our client also submitted that the Defendant was negligent in the 31 minute delay between the decision to proceed to a c-section and birth. It took 13 minutes to get knife to skin, a further 4 minutes before there was an attempt to deliver the head and a further 14 minutes to deliver the her son.

It was submitted that reasonable management would have allowed for delivery in less than 10 minutes. Our client also submitted that the Defendant failed to provide early neonatal care and that there was insufficient appreciation and assessment of the child’s poor circulatory and respiratory status.

Medical evidence was obtained from various experts.

Following the disclosure of all medical evidence the Defendant made a Part 36 offer to settle the our client’s damages in the amount of £65,000 compensation This offer was accepted thus concluding the claim.

Iona Meeres-Young is a Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London. 

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