Settlement After Birth Injury Left Woman Needing Colostomy

Specialist Lawyers Helping Young Mother To Get Specialist Treatment Following ‘Nightmare Few Years’


A former student nurse who suffered complications during the birth of her first child which left her needing months of treatment and a permanent colostomy has received a settlement after the NHS Trust responsible for her care admitted failings in dealing with her condition.

Devastated Dalia Du Maurier, from Stafford, had a normal pregnancy and gave birth to daughter Isabeau on 5th February by ventouse delivery.  It was immediately recognised she had suffered a perineal tear which was repaired.

The 30-year-old was discharged from Stafford Hospital the following day but over the next few months suffered from many problems because the tear in her perineum had been inadequately repaired leading to the development of a rectovaginal fistula and faecal incontinence. She has needed several procedures under anaesthetic but the fistula cannot be repaired which has left her needing a permanent colostomy and she has suffered parastomal hernia, which has been repaired but there is a risk of it recurring.

Dalia, who had to give up her proposed career of being a nurse because of her condition, instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her concerns over the post-natal care she received.

Medical evidence gathered by Irwin Mitchell found that had an adequate examination and repair of her perineum been performed at the time of delivery, she would not have needed the colostomy or the other procedures to later repair the damage.

Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust initially denied liability leading to a lengthy legal battle before the Trust finally reversed their decision admitting they were responsible in March this year. The case how now settled out-of-court and a six-figure settlement has been agreed to cover the on-going treatment and therapy Dalia now needs. 

The funds are being held in a Personal Injury Trust set up by Irwin Mitchell’s Court of Protection team so that Dalia can use them to help with both her recovery from on-going physical problems and the psychological impact the past four years has had on her.

Expert Opinion
Dalia is a young woman who was looking forward to being a mum for the first time but sadly, because of the injuries she suffered during the birth, she was unable to fully enjoy those first few months because of the worrying and embarrassing problems she suffered.

“With better care at the time of the birth these problems could have been avoided and Dalia would not have had to bring this legal case. It is also disappointing that it has taken two years for the NHS Trust to finally admit liability and settle the case fairly. Patient safety needs to be the number one priority and we hope that the Trust has reviewed what happened in this case to learn important lessons for the future.

“Now that the legal case is over Dalia and her family can begin to put this behind them, but they will constantly be reminded of the failures in her treatment because of her permanent colostomy and on-going problems.”
Sara Burns, Partner
Dalia, who lives with her mum Susan who has helped her look after her daughter over the past few years, said: “I always felt something wasn’t right but in those first few days and weeks the midwife and GP reassured me that everything was fine. It was only when I was rushed to A&E that I finally felt that people were trying to find out what was wrong.

“It’s been so difficult these past four years and I’m angry that the NHS lawyers have dragged this out for so long when they could have dealt with it two years ago. All these medical problems have distracted me from being able to spend as much time as possible with my daughter but my mum has been great in helping out and I don’t know what I would have done without her.

“Unfortunately nothing can turn back the clock and I’m still devastated by the position I now find myself in.  I’d rather not be caught up in this nightmare but thankfully I now have the settlement which will help me to begin to move on with my life. I just hope the Trust has learnt from this and improved the care for anyone in a similar situation.”