Medical Negligence Experts At Irwin Mitchell Instructed To Investigate Care During Birth
Professional footballer Jake Livermore and his partner Danielle Del-Giudice are taking legal action after it was revealed that their baby Jake Junior died shortly after birth in May last year following mistakes by medical staff.
Hull City midfielder Jake and his partner found out at an inquest earlier this year how the baby died following a ‘catalogue of errors’ and a Serious Untoward Incident Report carried out by Portland Hospital following the tragedy made several recommendations of how to improve care.
The couple instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care provided by private consultant Miss Eleni Mavrides at London’s private Portland Hospital after baby Jake Junior suffered injuries including a brain haemorrhage and skull fractures during the birth.
Danielle was admitted to hospital on 18th May last year and was advised by Miss Mavrides that she should have a normal delivery and only have a c-section if there were any complications during her labour.
The 29-year-old’s labour was managed appropriately until 22.30 when the baby’s heart beat became irregular. The inquest heard that as the labour progressed a review at 23.10 failed to consider blood sampling to decide if it was safe to continue as planned or whether it would be more appropriate to deliver by c-section.
Despite the irregular heartbeat it was decided to continue but after two failed attempts to deliver the baby using ventouse forceps the decision was made to take Danielle for a c-section.
Baby Jake Junior was born minutes later at 00.58 but was in a poor condition and was unresponsive and he died 39 minutes later after several resuscitation attempts were made.
A two-day inquest into Jake Junior’s death concluded today (13th March) at Westminster Coroner’s Court. HM Coroner Dr Radcliffe recorded a narrative conclusion and found that had Jake Junior been delivered earlier at or before 23.30 by emergency caesarean it would have resulted in a live birth. CCTV was also made available to the coroner showing a scene of commotion following the discovery of the problems with baby Jake Junior.
A Serious Incident investigation into Danielle and Jake Junior’s care provided whilst at the Portland Hospital also made a number of recommendations for areas of improvement including:
- Maintain regular updates and training to all staff to ensure they are up-to-date with the administration of Syntocinon and with CTG interpretation;
- Midwives to ensure they follow Hospital policy to ensure they are highlighting concerns appropriately with any patient;
- The resuscitation support team at night should include a Paediatric Site Practitioner (PSP) to assist;
- All staff members who are required to assist with resuscitation should be familiar with the environment and the equipment;
- All equipment for delivery should be available on a trolley in on the Labour Ward to be taken into theatre as needed.
Expert Opinion“This is a heart-breaking case that had devastating consequences for a young couple very much looking forward to welcoming home their first child. Their determination in pushing for an inquest was crucial in ensuring that the cause of death was properly investigated and without legal action it may have been incorrectly recorded as a stillbirth.
“The findings of the Serious Untoward Incident Report into the circumstances leading up to Jake Junior’s death were shocking, and it is crucial that the recommendations are taken on board as soon as possible to reduce the risk of similar incidents in future.
“Jake Junior’s tragic death has had a significant impact on both Danielle and Jake as those initial moments following the birth were extremely traumatic. We are now focused on bringing their legal battle for answers to a conclusion so that they can both finally begin the long process of rebuilding their lives.
“We see cases every day from all across the country where mistakes made during births have had devastating consequences and it is crucial that lessons are learned from these to improve care in future.” Lauren Hurney - Partner
The couple are now looking into setting up a charity to raise awareness and help others who sadly find themselves in a similar situation. They are also keen for all births recorded as stillbirths to be investigated by a coroner because without the proper investigation, mistakes may not be flagged up and live births may not be accurately recorded. They also want more transparency over the availability of information on complaints made against staff.
Danielle said: “Words cannot explain what we have been through in losing a perfectly healthy child because of mistakes made by medical staff during the birth. Knowing that people who I trusted to care for me and my baby and to ensure that we were safe throughout my labour, did not pick up the warning signs that Jake Junior was in distress is hard for me to accept.
“Even though an investigation has taken place at the Portland Hospital into Jake Junior’s death and the care that was provided to us last year, I still feel that not enough has been done to ensure that another family does not go through the horrific ordeal my family has. We have not even received any sort of apology from the consultant who is still practicing and it raises questions with us as to whether lessons are truly being learned.
“I’m so grateful that that my family was around me at the time as I fear that other vulnerable couples may not always know what is happening in the immediate aftermath of such a tragedy and may be less willing to ask questions to find out what went wrong and what the consent forms they are being asked to sign actually mean.
“The ordeal my family and I have been through has been completely devastating and something we are still trying to come to terms with. We would not want any other families to be put through the same. I hope that speaking out about Jake Junior’s death ensures that all maternity staff across the country have the best training and are provided with all necessary equipment to make sure that mothers and their babies are in the best possible hands when they are at their most vulnerable.”
Jake Livermore said: “It’s been incredibly tough over the past 17 months and I’m so thankful for the overwhelming support I have had from my family and friends, the fans and my teammates. I will be forever grateful for the faith they have shown in me.”
If you or your child have suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, our clinical negligence solicitors could help you claim compensation. See our Birth Injury Claims page for more information.