Medical Law and Patients’ Rights specialist, Sarah Coles, has helped the parents of a still born baby to claim £45,000 in compensation for substandard care.
The baby tragically died in April 2002 at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield. On the day that it happened, the mother had called the midwifery team at the hospital three times with concerns about her baby. She was experiencing a lot of pain and symptoms of diarrhoea and felt that her baby was not moving.
The midwifery staff advised her to take pain relief but not to come into the hospital because she was probably suffering from a bug and they didn’t want her spreading it to other patients.
The symptoms persisted so the mother visited her GP for further advice. The GP advised that she go to the hospital immediately. On arrival, she was assessed by a midwife and CTG trace test was performed, in order to check her baby’s heart rate. The midwife wasn’t able to get a strong reading but rather than following the hospital protocol, she discharged the mother home, reassuring her that she had heard the heart beat briefly and that was sufficient.
The following morning, the mother suffered a bloody discharge and went back to the hospital. She was assessed again and a scan was performed. It was at this point that she was told that sadly her baby had died. The next day, the mother had to give birth to her daughter still born.
This was the first child for the couple and naturally, both parents were extremely distressed and suffered severe psychiatric trauma as a result.
Investigations by Sarah Coles identified a series of failings by Pinderfields hospital, which admitted that the mother should not have been discharged after the CTG trace test failed to identify a good heart reading. It was concluded that the baby would have survived if the mother had been kept in the hospital and been given appropriate care.
The parents were awarded £45,000 in compensation for medical negligence
due to their suffering and also the expenses they paid for baby equipment and the funeral.
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of negligent antenatal care, we may be able to help you claim compensation. See our Medical Negligence Guide for more information.
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