Expert Medical Negligence Lawyers Secure Settlement From Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
A 26-year-old woman who has been left unable to conceive naturally after failings during an emergency Caesarean at Leeds General Infirmary has spoken of her relief that the NHS Trust responsible for her care has admitted its mistakes and provided her with a settlement to help fund the costs of surrogacy.
Natasha Richardson, from Harrogate, underwent an emergency Caesarean section in January 2013 to deliver her son Noah. Shortly after the operation she was taken to the High Dependency Unit and underwent a second operation as she was bleeding internally.
She continued to suffer severe illness after being discharged from hospital and after visiting her GP she was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary with stomach problems. She was later transferred to St James’ Hospital and an examination found she was suffered from necrotising fasciitis - a rare bacterial infection that affects the tissue beneath the skin, surrounding muscles and organs.
As a result of the infection Natasha underwent seven operations to remove the dead tissue. She also underwent a hysterectomy as a result of the infection, leaving her unable to conceive children naturally.
Natasha instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care she received during the emergency Caesarean section at Leeds General Infirmary, which is operated by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
During the investigation the Trust admitted Natasha should have been prescribed with antibiotics within an hour of the initial Caesarean operation and that had this been done she would not have developed the infection and the extensive surgery she underwent and the hysterectomy operation would have been avoided.
Specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have now secured Natasha an undisclosed six-figure sum from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust that will help Natasha and her partner Jamie pay for the surrogacy process in the future as they plan to have more children.
Rebecca Pearey, an expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office, who represents Natasha, said:
Expert Opinion“The failures to prescribe antibiotics at the crucial time have clearly had a massive and devastating impact on Natasha as she has had to rethink the plans she had for her family and her working life.
“Natasha has undergone a number of invasive and complex surgeries to correct the problems caused by the failure to administer antibiotics following her C-section. Understandably, the prospect of surrogacy in the future, rather than conceiving children naturally, has caused a great deal of stress and anxiety for Natasha and Jamie.
“Natasha was in a great deal of pain for some time after each of the operations she has been through and the ordeal has also had a psychological impact on her and her family. The Trust has admitted liability for the problems Natasha has faced, which has come as a relief to her, but she is also keen to ensure the Trust learns from this incident and puts steps in place so that this doesn’t happen to anybody else.” Rebecca Pearey - Associate Solicitor
Natasha was not able to see Noah for the first two weeks she was in hospital due to the potential to cause infection and when she returned home she was unable to look after Noah on her own due to the severe pain she was in.
As a result of the procedures to remove the infection Natasha was left with an open stomach which took many months to heal and she has been left with a painful scar that required dressings to prevent rubbing on her clothes.
Doctors have also told Natasha she will need further surgery after she developed a complex incisional hernia.
Natasha said: “The last three-and-a-half years have been extremely difficult for me and my family as a result of failures by staff at Leeds General Infirmary who I trusted to deliver my baby and provide us both with the care and treatment we expected.
“As a result of the failure to prescribe me with antibiotics I’ve endured eight major procedures and I know that I have further surgeries to come to correct the problems still being caused by the errors that were made.
“The hardest thing for me to come to terms with is that Jamie and I will not be able to conceive children naturally and we’ll have to rely on surrogacy. We had always planned to have three children but what we’ve been through has changed our plans in so many ways.
“As well as the physical pain and scars I’ve been left with, which are a constant reminder of what I’ve been through, my experiences have had a huge impact on me mentally. I struggled to look after Noah on my own, which was a terrible experience, and I find it very difficult to be the confident, chatty, happy person I once was.
“The support my family have given me has really helped and I’m relieved the Trust has admitted liability for what I’ve been through and I hope I can now begin to draw a line under my ordeal and focus all my energies on my recovery and spending time with Jamie and Noah.”
If you or your child have been injured due to medical negligence during pregnancy or a gynaecological procedure our clinical negligence solicitors could help you to claim compensation. Visit our Pregnancy & Gynaecology Injury Claims for more information.