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Midwife failures leave baby brain damaged - over £7 million
A catalogue of errors by midwives during Luke’s birth meant signs that he was in distress were not acted on and he was starved of oxygen. Luke suffered severe brain damage and was later diagnosed with catastrophic cerebral palsy. After Luke’s case was taken on by Olivia Scates one of the cerebral palsy solicitors at JMW, he was awarded over £7 million in compensation to cover the cost of caring for his severe disabilities over his lifetime.
Laura had a normal pregnancy with her first baby Luke and was booked for midwifery-led care at her local maternity hospital. When her due date arrived she was given a sweep by a community midwife and her contractions started during the night two days later.
Laura thought her waters might have broken so at 2.30am her husband John called the hospital and they were told to come in. Following their arrival, checks on the baby’s heart rate were done. However, between 3.30am and 6.20am there was no record of any more checks of the baby’s heart rate being carried out by midwifery staff.
Failure to supervise
At 6.45am a student midwife took over Laura’s care and the poor monitoring of mother and baby continued. The student was not supervised adequately by the more experienced midwives and mistakes made were not picked up and acted on. The student was not following NHS guidelines for monitoring of the baby’s heart rate meaning signs that he was in distress were missed.
At 8am Laura was transferred to a room and was experiencing urges to push. In terms of the frequency of her contractions there was a discrepancy between what the student midwife recorded and what was likely to have happened.
At about 8.45am Laura’s blood pressure was elevated. The student midwife discussed this with her supervisor but the more experienced midwife did not check on Laura herself. In fact, the experienced midwives rarely checked on Laura at all and there were long periods where she was left unattended and unmonitored.
The baby’s heart rate frequently went unchecked however the midwives doctored records to make it appear as if it had.
As a result of these failures signs that Luke was in distress were not reported to doctors, who could have taken action to deliver him before his brain was starved of oxygen.
The fact that the second stage of labour (pushing stage) was taking a much longer time than is normal also did not ring alarm bells. Despite Laura beginning to push at around 9am, Luke was not delivered by the student midwife until 2.51pm. His reserves of oxygen would have been compromised by this and when combined with the failure to monitor his heart rate it was to have catastrophic consequences.
Luke was floppy and in a very poor condition at birth and had to be resuscitated. He was transferred to the neonatal unit where abnormal movements and seizures were noted. An MRI scan carried out three weeks later revealed Luke’s brain had been severely damaged consistent with it being starved of oxygen and he was later diagnosed with catastrophic cerebral palsy.
The parents made a complaint to the hospital, but the trust denied any responsibility and told them that the problems suffered by Luke were “just one of those things.
Successful medical negligence case
After Luke’s parents were put in touch with Olivia Scates, a partner in JMW’s medical negligence team, the hospital trust eventually admitted that the midwives’ failures had led to Luke’s brain damage, which would have been avoided with proper care. He will never be able to live independently, he is completely dependent on others and needs care around the clock. He will require specialist care and equipment for the rest of his life. Olivia negotiated a compensation settlement of over £7 million to cover the cost of this.
Has your family also suffered in a similar way to Luke's?
If so, our expert, sympathetic solicitors can help you to claim the compensation you need to cover the costs of the devastating effects of the clinical negligence you experienced. Call us on 0345 872 6666 or fill in our contact form.
More Case Studies
Eddie Jones, head of clinical negligence at JMW, helped Khalil and his family to secure a lifelong compensation package worth £26 million after appalling errors by maternity staff caused him brain damage during his birth.
'Daniel' has severe physical disabilities, will never be able to work to earn a living and is dependent on others for all of his needs after he suffered devastating and avoidable brain damage at birth. He was awarded £25 million in compensation after his case was taken on by the cerebral palsy specialists at JMW Solicitors who have decades of experience in such cases.
'Francesca' suffered devastating brain damage during birth due to errors made with a drug used to speed up labour. She has lifelong specialist care requirements and will never be able to live independently, work for a living or have her own family. Although nothing could ever make up for this, Sally Leonards, a partner specialising in brain injury cases at JMW, was able to obtain £24 million in compensation to ensure she is properly taken care of and has financial security.
Melissa Gardner, a JMW partner specialising in cases of brain damage caused during birth, has secured a £22.3 million compensation settlement for a girl left severely disabled by maternity failures. Ruth will never be able to work and will be dependent on others for the rest of her life so the compensation will cover the cost of her 24-hour care and provide financial security.
Angharad Hughes, a partner in JMW's specialist clinical negligence team, secured £22 million in compensation, for a boy who suffered severe head trauma as a baby due to appalling errors made during a forceps delivery.
The specialist cerebral palsy solicitors at JMW secured a £22 million compensation package for an 11-year-old girl who suffered oxygen deprivation during birth leading to brain damage after her mother was talked out of having a C-section by doctors.
Melissa Gardner, a partner in JMW's medical negligence team, secured £22 million in compensation for a girl with severe physical disabilities due to poor monitoring of her oxygen levels just after she was born.
'Annie' should have been delivered urgently when there were signs that she was in distress in the womb. However blunders by midwives and doctors meant her birth was delayed and she was starved of oxygen leading to her being diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy. Eddie Jones, head of medical negligence at JMW, obtained £18 million in compensation to cover the cost of Annie's lifelong care.
'Alex' suffered severe and permanent brain damage during his birth after an induction of labour went badly wrong. Steven Brown, a partner in JMW's medical negligence team specialising in brain injuries, secured £13 million in compensation for Alex to help him to have the care and financial security he requires to cope with his disabilities.
A partner in the JMW medical negligence team and a specialist in cerebral palsy cases, obtained £13 million in compensation for two siblings who were tragically both brain damaged by hospital errors.
Shauna was left with severe cerebral palsy and requires 24-hour care for the rest of her life after maternity failures. Our specialist cerebral palsy team secured her compensation totalling £10 million to provide her with financial security.
Lily was left catastrophically brain damaged after maternity failures. The cerebral palsy specialists at JMW secured her £10 million in compensation to cover the cost of the specialist care, accommodation and financial security she requires.
The specialist cerebral palsy solicitors at JMW secured a compensation settlement of £8.8 million for 'Sam' after maternity failures left him needing round-the-clock care.
Luke suffered catastrophic brain damage due to appalling failures by midwives. He was left with severe cerebral palsy and will require 24-hour care for the rest of his life. The brain injury specialists at JMW obtained over £7 million in compensation to cover the cost of this.
Seven-year-old boy R was left brain damaged after he was starved of oxygen at birth, when doctors at failed to recognise he was in serious danger and delayed his delivery. Eddie Jones helped the boy's mother to secure £6.56 million in compensation, ensuring the financial toll of the special needs he will have for the rest of his life are taken care of.
Young Theo has severe cerebral palsy which has left him with very little mobility and unable to sit up unaided after his brain was staved of oxygen due to the negligence of a birth centre. JMW secured Theo a £6.4 million compensation package to provide the specialist care he requires.
Harry was left with cerebral palsy in all four limbs, learning difficulties and behavioural problems due to the negligence of midwives. Eddie Jones, one of the cerebral palsy legal experts at JMW Solicitors, obtained him £6.22 million in compensation.
Heather was starved of oxygen at birth and as a result suffers from cerebral palsy. JMW were able to negotiate a settlement on her behalf which will help her live as normal a life as possible.
Huw was left with severe and permanent brain damage after his delivery was delayed despite abnormalities with his heart rate. The cerebral palsy specialists at JMW obtained Huw £5 million in compensation to provide the care he requires.
Alfie was left with severe cerebral palsy, epilepsy and learning difficulties after midwives failed to adequately monitor his blood sugar levels following his birth.
Hannah was left with severe cerebral palsy after a maternity unit failed to treat her respiratory illness effectively. The expert lawyers at JMW Solicitors negotiated a £4.8 million compensation package to fund her future care.
'Bobby' was left with severe cerebral palsy and very significant disabilities after meningitis failures when he was a baby led to permanent brain damage. Bobby is not expected to live beyond his teens but a JMW medical negligence partner secured a £4.6 million care package that will enable him to have as comfortable a life as possible.
Harvey suffered devastating brain damage as a newborn baby after a community midwife failed to take action on his newborn jaundice. He was left with cerebral palsy and will never be able to live independently or hold down a job. The specialist solicitors at JMW secured £4.5 million in compensation to help Harvey to cope with his disabilities.
Melissa Gardner, a partner specialising in serious injury cases at JMW, and solicitor Rachael Heyes, have negotiated a compensation settlement totalling £9.8 million for a man who has permanent disabilities due cerebral palsy. Serious errors were made during his birth which led to his brain being starved of oxygen but he will now have access to the care, equipment and accommodation he will require for the rest of his life.