Marking World Diabetes Day On 14 November
The diabetic mother of a girl thought to have sustained a brain injury at birth after hospital staff failed to manage her diabetes during labour is speaking out to raise awareness of the condition.
The woman, from Great Barr, Birmingham has type 1 diabetes. Her daughter was born at Birmingham’s City Hospital in a poor condition and not breathing. She was resuscitated before being taken to the neonatal unit and then transferred to Liverpool Women’s Hospital for cooling therapy.
An MRI scan was taken when the baby was 10 days old, and the results indicated that she had sustained a brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen.
Following the incident, the mother instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care she and her daughter, now three, received and whether more could have been done to prevent what happened.
She has now joined with her legal team to mark World Diabetes Day, which takes place on 14 November, by raising awareness of the condition.
Expert Opinion“This is a truly devastating case where our client put her trust in the medical experts to safely deliver her baby but it went tragically wrong.
Diabetes is a condition that affects a large number of people and requires accurate monitoring and management, and the issues raised here are a great concern. We hope that by sharing the story, we will help raise awareness of the potential complications of the condition, as well as put World Diabetes Day in the spotlight.
We have already commenced our investigations into what happened and will continue to support our client throughout the process and help her access the specialist support needed to assist her daughter with getting the best out of life.”
Sara Burns - Partner
Shortly after the incident, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust carried out a serious incident investigation and a report was published which found that the mother’s diabetes was incorrectly managed and there was also a lack of monitoring her during labour.
It was also stated in the report that she had been given pethidine to help her sleep but she was not assessed prior to this to determine whether or not she was in established labour.
In addition, she had suffered abnormally low blood sugars but hospital staff failed to put her on a sliding scale to manage her insulin/glucose levels.
Her daughter lives with spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy, which affects the movement of her arms and legs. She receives physiotherapy and other therapies to help develop her motor skills and hit her milestones such as crawling and walking.
The mother, who has had diabetes since she was nine years old, said: “Diabetes is a complex condition and I hope that by sharing my story, it will highlight the importance of monitoring and controlling it at all times, particularly during pregnancy.
“I am so proud of how far my daughter has come. She has made good progress with her sitting, kneeling, crawling and standing at a table to play, but her development is still delayed, and I can’t help but feel that this wouldn’t have been the case if we had both been cared for properly when I was in labour.
“While nothing can change what happened, I hope that by speaking out, it will help make people more aware of diabetes and its management.”
World Diabetes Day is on 14 November. Every year, the campaign focuses on a dedicated theme. This year’s theme is Family and Diabetes.