Measures Being Put In Place Following ‘Nightmare’
A woman left devastated following the stillbirth of her daughter has spoken out about her ‘nightmare’ after Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust admitted that a failure to properly interpret test results led to the death.
During her pregnancy, the woman - who cannot be named for legal reasons - attended Pinderfields Hospital with swelling affecting her face, feet and hands. A urine sample was taken and she was told the results were normal. It was later discovered that she should have been treated for pre-eclampsia. She went on to have a stillborn baby.
Following the problems, she instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her care and the legal experts have now secured a full admission of liability from Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust regarding the baby’s death.
Furthermore, the Trust has also offered a full apology and stressed that measures have been put in place to prevent the same problems ever happening again.
Victoria Moss, the expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who is representing the woman, said: “This is a truly awful case and our client remains understandably devastated by the events which occurred last year. It is simply a situation that no parent should have to face.
“While nothing will ultimately change what has happened, it is welcome that the NHS Trust has admitted what went wrong, offered a full apology and there is a commitment to learning lessons which is what our client has always wanted.
“The problems which arose in this case were clearly avoidable and it is vital that such issues are never seen again. We hope that this Trust as well as the NHS nationally and other healthcare providers will learn from this to ensure that this is the case.”
The woman had been under the care of the NHS Trust after she fell pregnant in August 2017 and attended Pinderfields Hospital on 27 January 2018 after she started to suffer with swelling of her face, feet and hands.
A urine protein creatinine ratio sample was taken for testing and while she was discharged home with hypertension, she was asked to return to the hospital the next day for the results. She was then informed that the sample had come back normal, even though her result should have been treated as pre-eclampsia in a pregnant patient.
She continued to suffer with facial swelling in the days afterwards and a urine test in the middle of February showed protein issues, but a midwife presumed this was a urine infection and no sample was taken. However, a reduction in the baby’s growth was noted and it was confirmed at a scan on 15 February 2018 that no heartbeat could be detected. The baby girl was stillborn the next day.
An internal investigation was held by Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust following the incident and it found several issues in the care that the woman received, including that there was a failure to recognise and act on the test results and a failure to act on signs of pre-eclampsia.
The trust has admitted that pre-eclampsia could have been diagnosed by the end of January and, if it had been, delivery of the baby would have been recommended and she would have survived.
The woman said: “Everything that happened was just an absolute nightmare and I genuinely do not know if I will ever come to terms with it. I was just weeks away from meeting my baby and losing her in the way I did was just horrific.
“It is hard to take that a misinterpretation of some test results could have caused this, but if any good can come from this, it is that lessons are hopefully being learned. The apology from the NHS Trust is welcome and I also hope it is sincere in its efforts to ensure this does not happen again. No parent should have to go through this.”