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Our medical negligence solicitors have helped Julie*, a mother of three, claim £700,000 in compensation after she had a heart attack caused by substandard care shortly after a caesarean section.
Julie, 45, had a caesarean section to deliver her third child in January 2012. Hospital staff put her under general anaesthetic after she felt pain despite having had a spinal anaesthetic.
Regional anaesthetic is more common for C-sections, but general anaesthetic is still used for roughly 10% of C-sections. That’s tens of thousands of operations a year.
After the operation, Julie’s airways became blocked while medical staff took her to the recovery area where her mother was waiting. The medical staff hadn’t noticed and it was her mother who told them that her daughter didn’t seem to be breathing.
The team failed to help Julie breathe with assisted ventilation and there wasn’t enough oxygen getting to her brain. This caused the heart attack and Julie thought she was going to die.
We later found out that the recovery room didn’t have any adult resuscitation masks and staff had to leave the room to find one before they could resuscitate Julie properly.
The ordeal left Julie psychologically traumatised. She suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition. She also has problems with sleep, memory and concentration.
Her conditions vary and she sometimes has to spend the entire day in bed. This means that she can’t go back to her old job as a marketing manager and she struggles to look after her three small children.
Julie got in touch with our medical negligence lawyers to see if we could help.
We contacted experts who advised that the doctor’s management had been negligent and that Julie’s symptoms were caused by her traumatic experience in surgery.
Despite these expert opinions, the hospital denied that they were responsible until February 2018, shortly before the case was due to go to trial in the High Court.
Even then, they still argued that their negligence care hadn’t caused Julie’s chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Their own experts believed that Julie was exaggerating her symptoms.
Despite the disagreement, our solicitors successfully negotiated a settlement that will help Julie access the treatment she needs to manage her symptoms. A Graded Exercise Programme and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy should help improve Julie’s quality of life, help her to look after her family, and eventually find part-time work.
Louise Forsyth, a Senior Associate in our London office, worked on Julie’s case.
“The birth of a child should be a joyous occasion but it was a nightmare for Julie,” she said. “We’ve persevered for over five years to get her the compensation she deserves. We’re delighted to finally secure a settlement for Julie after those responsible denied liability for so long.”
If you have received substandard medical care while giving birth, our medical negligence solicitors may be able to help you make a compensation claim. See our Birth Injury To Mother Claims page for more information.
*Not her real name
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