12 September 2019

Baby suffers catastrophic brain damage after midwives tell mum not to attend hospital despite signs she had sepsis

A first-time pregnant mum who was suffering from sepsis was told not to attend hospital by a midwife and hours later her baby was born with severe brain damage.

Manisha Anand, of Streford, Greater Manchester first started to feel unwell in the last month of her pregnancy with cold and flu symptoms. However when she reached 39 weeks she deteriorated significantly with abdominal pains, a fever and vomiting. She called maternity triage at Wythenshawe Hospital at 5.46am on 31 October 2017 but was told not to attend hospital and to try having a hot bath.

After contacting the triage unit again at 7.50am to say she was still being sick and in excruciating pain she was told the midwife was busy. The midwife called her back 15 minutes later at 8.05am who this time advised her to come in to be checked which she did.

By 9.06am Manisha was vomiting profusely and was taken to the delivery suite. At 9.25am baby Ambika’s heart rate dropped significantly and a decision was made to deliver her by emergency C-section. Ambika was born with no signs of life and had to be resuscitated. She was later found to have severe brain damage. Following the birth Manisha was diagnosed with sepsis and spent three weeks in intensive care. Both mum and baby were found to have the Strep A infection which is treatable with antibiotics.

Ambika was transferred to St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester for cooling where she spent several weeks in intensive care and several days on a ventilator before being transferred back to Wythenshawe and finally discharged home in mid-December. She has now been diagnosed with cerebral palsy but due to her still being so young (not yet two years old) it is too soon to say exactly what her needs and disabilities may be.

Following this incident Wythenshawe Hospital undertook its own internal investigation which found that Manisha should have been told to attend the triage unit when she called at 5.46am.

Ambika’s family has now instructed brain injury specialists at JMW Solicitors to investigate the treatment provided to Manisha and Ambika to find out if the poor care they faced caused Ambika’s brain damage.

Sally Leonards, a partner at JMW Solicitors, specialising in brain injuries, has significant concerns about the care provided. She commented: “Tragically Ambika has suffered catastrophic brain damage and is likely to have very significant care needs for the rest of her life. It is very early in terms of our investigation and we will be examining the care provided very thoroughly to find out what caused Ambika’s brain damage and if this could have been prevented. I am particularly concerned that Manisha was not told to attend hospital when she called with symptoms of an infection which can pose a significant risk to mother and baby. First time mums are frequently advised not to come to hospital in the early stages of labour but clearly adequate steps need to be taken to ensure those in need of urgent care are seen straight away.”

Manisha, 27, commented: “What was supposed to be the best day of our lives, turned out to be so heart-breaking. It was a traumatic and scary time for the three of us and our whole family. For any first-time parents, parenthood is a scary, new and emotional experience but this was on a whole new level far from what we expected. However we are trying to be as strong as possible for our baby girl and provide her with all the care and love she needs.

“I also want to raise awareness of the need for pregnant women who report such severe signs of illness to be taken seriously when they ring midwives and not just dismissed as being in early stages of labour. It’s frightening to think of this happening to any other families because I was so unwell and basically could have died.”

Ambika’s family have set up a Crowdfunding page for Ambika to raise money to provide her with different therapies they feel will help her.


For more information:

Kelly Hindle

D. 0161 828 1868

E. Kelly.hindle@jmw.co.uk

Note to Editors

JMW Solicitors LLP is a leading Manchester law firm and offers a broad range of legal services to both commercial and private clients.

JMW’s Clinical Negligence team is headed up by leading clinical negligence lawyer, Eddie Jones. For more than a decade he and his team have advised and represented thousands of victims of clinical negligence, and their relatives, and have obtained over £100 million in compensation for their clients, as well as providing the answers as to why their medical treatment has gone wrong.


Let us contact you


COVID-19 Update - Our website and phone lines are operating as normal and our teams are on hand to deal with all enquiries. Meetings can be conducted via telephone and video conferencing.

View our Privacy Policy

Find Out More