Woman’s first baby stillborn due to hospital negligence - £100,000 in compensation

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Woman’s first baby stillborn due to hospital negligence - £100,000 in compensation

Lucy, 30

Lucy’s first baby was tragically stillborn due to the negligence of midwives at her maternity hospital. Nothing could ever fully compensate Lucy for her loss but after her case was taken on by JMW, she was awarded £100,000 for the pain and suffering than she endured and to compensate her for her loss of earnings.

Start of ordeal

Lucy was 30 years old when she became pregnant for the first time. When she started to experience a headache, blurred vision and reduced fetal movements, Lucy sought advice from the midwives at her local maternity hospital. The midwifes put a belt round her abdomen with a heart rate monitor on it (CTG trace) to check the well-being of her baby. Lucy was reassured that everything was fine but to return if her symptoms worsened.

A month later, Lucy started to experience lower abdominal and back pain, with itchy hands and feet. She again noticed that her baby was not moving as much as usual and so she attended hospital. She was again reassured that there was nothing to be overly concerned about but she should attend a further appointment to have blood tests done and to undergo a scan.

Patients prioritised incorrectly

A scan was performed two days later when Lucy again reported that the baby’s movements were still down from their normal pattern.

During her pregnancy, Lucy reported to the hospital that her baby was moving less on a further three occasions.

In the lead up to her due date, Lucy opted for an elective caesarean section. On arrival at hospital for the caesarean, Lucy was placed last on the theatre list for that day. After waiting to undergo the caesarean , Lucy was then advised that there was not enough time to proceed that day and that she would need to be booked in for the caesarean section on another date. Lucy was advised of the option of a having an induction to start labour which she agreed to.

During labour, Lucy developed strong lower back and abdominal pains. She also advised the midwives that she had not felt her baby move. A CTG heart rate monitor was put in place, which confirmed that sadly Lucy’s baby had died.

JMW Investigations

Lucy was concerned that there had been missed opportunities to ensure her baby was delivered safely at an earlier stage and contacted the specialist maternity negligence solicitors at JMW for advice. We took on Lucy’s case under a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement and investigated the care she had received from the maternity hospital.

With the help of evidence from leading medical experts, solicitor Rachael Heyes was able to prove that it had been negligent of the hospital not to properly record and communicate at staff hand overs the number of times Lucy had attended hospital with reduced movements.

The hospital later admitted these mistakes and that if they had not been made, Lucy’s caesarean section would have been prioritised over another patient on the day she attended and therefore not cancelled. It was accepted that with a caesarean section that day, Lucy’s baby would have been born alive.

Nothing could ever make up for the death of Lucy’s baby but Rachael was able to secure £100,000 in compensation for Lucy. The compensation has helped Lucy to cope with the financial aspects of her lost earnings caused by the negligence she experienced and to help with her pain and suffering.

Rachel Heyes, a solicitor specialising in maternity failures at JMW who handled Lucy’s case, said:

“Lucy rightly took herself to be checked out when she noticed her baby’s movements had reduced and she was let down in the worst possible way by those responsible for her care. This case shows the appalling consequences when patient concerns are not heeded and the impact of poor communication and record keeping.”

Rachel Heyes, Associate Solicitor
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