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NHS Trust Admits Liability After Woman Suffers Severe Perineal Tear During Childbirth

Medical Negligence Lawyers Call For Lessons To Be Learned At Midlands Trust


A woman who suffered a severe perineal tear while giving birth to her first child has spoken of the need for lessons to be learned after the University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust admitted liability for the injuries which have turned her life ‘upside down’.


Debbie Armstrong, 34, from Coventry, attended Walsgrave Hospital, Coventry for the delivery of her son Kaiden in September 2010.


During the delivery Debbie suffered a fourth degree perineal tear. She instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the standard of care she received during the delivery of Kaiden.


It was alleged that staff at the hospital failed correctly to diagnose the position of the baby’s head and/or negligently misapplied the forceps during the delivery of Kaiden, resulting in the foetal head being delivered in an unfavourable position causing terrible injuries for Debbie.


Following legal action by Irwin Mitchell on Debbie’s behalf the NHS Trust has now admitted liability for the injuries Debbie suffered paving the way for her to receive further support as she seeks to move on with her life.


As a result of the injuries Debbie suffered she has undergone a number of surgical procedures to try to repair the injuries, but sadly the attempts have not been successful.


She has been left with a permanent colostomy bag and continues to suffer with the psychological impact of her injuries.


Debbie has moved back to live with her parents as she needs regular assistance and support, particularly with looking after Kaiden. Debbie has tried to get back to work but is struggling in the workplace due to the injuries she suffered.


Sara Burns, a Partner and expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing Debbie, said:


Expert Opinion
“Debbie is a young woman who was looking forward to the birth of her first child but sadly, because of the injuries she suffered, she was unable to enjoy those first precious weeks with her son as she would have wished. She has also been left with lifelong complications for the injuries she suffered during Kaiden’s birth.

“With better care at the time of the birth these problems could have been avoided and Debbie would not be facing the problems she has for the last six years and is likely to face for the rest of her life.

“The NHS Trust has now admitted liability for the injuries Debbie suffered and we are now working to reach a settlement that will help fund the care and assistance Debbie will need in the future and for the pain and suffering she has endured.

“Patient safety needs to be the number one priority and we hope that the Trust has reviewed what happened in this case to learn important lessons for the future.”
Sara Burns, Partner


Debbie said: “My life has been completely turned upside down by the injuries I suffered during Kaiden’s birth. It has been extremely difficult to come to terms with both the physical and mental impact my injuries and the subsequent surgeries I’ve undergone have had on me.


“I can only hope that what has happened to me won’t happen to anyone else in the future and I believe that by taking legal action and speaking out about my experiences in the last six years the Trust, and others around the country, will take every possible step to protect mothers from the problems I have suffered.”

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.

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