Settlement obtained for Norfolk woman following the death of her baby

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Amanda Cavanagh, a medical negligence specialist at Ashtons Legal, has obtained a five-figure settlement for a woman whose baby girl died shortly after birth, an outcome that most likely would have been prevented had a timely emergency caesarean section been performed.

Ms K attended hospital at 37 weeks pregnant because she was having strong contractions and was concerned that her baby was not moving as much as usual. An examination found that Ms K was not in established labour and, despite being in severe pain, was told that she could return home.

Two hours after being discharged from the hospital Ms K’s condition deteriorated and she was taken by ambulance back to the labour ward. It was discovered that her baby’s heartrate had slowed and a decision was made to carry out an emergency caesarean section.

After the delivery the baby girl was immediately resuscitated by the neonatal team but, despite good emergency aftercare, she sadly died the following day.

Had an obstetric review been requested during Ms K’s first admission to hospital, there would have been an opportunity to consider whether there was a sinister cause for her underlying pain. In this event it is unlikely that she would have been discharged before further examinations had been undertaken which would have allowed the obstetricians to expedite delivery of, on the balance of probabilities, a baby born without the resulting complications.

Amanda Cavanagh comments: “This is a very sad case and one that we see repeated too often. We are constantly being told that midwifes and obstetricians need to listen to mothers and make their assessments based on not just clinical findings, but on the concerns and reported history of the mothers involved. I know that this settlement will not compensate the parents for the loss of their baby, but hope that some comfort may be given to the parents to know that lessons will hopefully have been learnt and will avoid this happening again in the future.”

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