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Stillbirth case was ‘almost certainly preventable’.

Sadly on average 1 in every 200 births ends in a stillbirth. It is even more heart -breaking to read that some stillbirths are preventable.

Last week an investigation lasting nearly 2 years into an NHS maternity unit concluded that a baby’s death was ’almost certainly preventable’.  An expectant couple were let down by an NHS Trust when they were transferred to another maternity unit due to understaffing. An investigation report found that 13 failures had been identified at the Trust. Some of the errors made included; failure to record information properly, failure to recognise a prolonged dysfunctional labour and a delay in applying appropriate foetal monitoring.

Unfortunately, the current law does not classify a still born child or foetus as a ‘deceased person’. As such this prevents inquests from taking place and instead families are faced with having to battle with the hospital to carry out an investigation.

It is devastating that a family has to face such a task when they are already trying to come to terms with the loss of a baby. It is important that parents and families know where to seek help during such a difficult time. JMW has helped countless families get answers, obtain compensation and receive an apology.

My colleague Sophie Fox has recently written a blog and has spoken about one of her clients who bravely shared their story in the hope of helping others in a similar situation.

There are also many charities who can offer help and support for anyone affected by a stillbirth.

The charity Tommy’s provide pregnancy health information to parents and fund research into premature birth, miscarriage and stillbirth.                                                                                                                                

The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (SANDS) also provides support to bereaved families.

NHS England have also published advice on stillbirths alongside organisations such as the Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, British Maternal and Foetal Medicine Society and SANDS. The advice has been released with an aim to halve the amount of infant deaths during pregnancy by 2030.

Part of the guidance includes advice to expectant mothers on reduced foetal movement by 24 weeks 

Our clinical negligence team at JMW are sympathetic and experienced in handling cases of this nature. If you would like a confidential discussion about your own experience, please do not hesitate to get in contact with the team.

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