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Case Study: Baby's Abnormal Heart Rate Not Acted Upon During Labour
Compensation: £2.5 million
JMW has secured a structured £2.5 million settlement after doctors failed to act upon a child abnormal heart rate during labour has led to severe physical disabilities for the rest of her life.
Rita was 41 weeks pregnant and in early labour when she was admitted to hospital.
At 1.45pm she had an epidural and immediately afterwards there was a significant drop in the baby’s heart rate. It was thought that the two were possibly connected. Soon afterwards Rita was having very frequent contractions – four every 10 minutes and the baby’s heart was rather fast. A blood sample taken from the baby at about 2.30pm, which showed that it was beginning to become distressed.
Medical negligence during labour
The baby’s heart rate speeded up and then slowed down on several occasions over the next two hours. At4.30pm the cervix was fully dilated and Rita was urged to begin pushing. This resulted in further slowing of the baby’s heart rate so the decision was taken to take Rita to theatre for the delivery.
The labour ward was very busy at the time and Rita was not transferred to theatre until 5.15pm. Two attempts were made to deliver the baby using a Ventouse suction cup but they both failed and the decision was taken to perform a caesarean section.
Sarah was born at 5.37pm in very poor condition and required intubation and resuscitation. She was admitted to the special baby care unit and it soon became clear that she had brain damage due to lack of oxygen during her delivery.
Sarah is now severely physically disabled because of cerebral palsy and is reliant on others for all activities of daily life. She attends mainstream school but requires a full time teaching assistant to help her.
The tracings of the fetal heart monitor were abnormal from the start and it Sarah’s obvious distress had been acted upon sooner she would have been born undamaged.
It was claimed that if she had been born just 15 minutes sooner the brain damage could have been avoided.
The case was settled by one of JMW’s expert and highly experienced solicitors for £2,500,000 plus significant periodic payments for the rest of Sarah’s life.