£120,000 for a 43-year-old woman following the stillbirth of her unborn child.
Aged 39, this was C’s first pregnancy which was classified as low risk when she was 16 weeks pregnant.
High blood pressure was noted at 34 weeks, as well as rising protein levels in her urine. A two-week follow up was planned rather than admission to hospital. There were three further visits over six weeks for blood tests and urine samples.
At 40 weeks pregnant, a midwife visited and noted blood pressure was high. C was referred to her GP who sent her to hospital where it was considered that labour would need to be induced if blood pressure did not drop. A specific date was not set but rather for ‘the next available slot’. She was monitored on a ward and was taking Labetalol to reduce her blood pressure.
C noticed that her bump had changed shape and she felt unsteady and was experiencing a dull ache. A doctor wished to discharge her from hospital, and the consultant dismissed the change in the shape of C's bump.
At home C went into labour. The contractions began at approximately midnight and she was initially told to stay at home. She attended hospital four hours later and it was noted that her blood pressure was very high at 200/110. A midwife could not find a foetal heartbeat and an obstetric registrar then confirmed that the baby's heart had stopped beating.
C had to deliver her baby without an epidural and suffered from dangerously high blood pressure of 205/119. She suffered a third-degree tear and lost five pints of blood. She had to have a surgical repair and a blood transfusion. After a period being looked after in the high dependency unit, she was later discharged.
C lost her child. She suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and a depressive episode and developed fibromyalgia, although the defendant denied that those injuries had been caused by the stillbirth event. She experienced widespread chronic pain.
She could not carry on her recruitment job due to developing fibromyalgia. However, she retrained within the child support sector. It was predicted that the PTSD would resolve within four years of C undergoing between one and two courses of cognitive behavioural therapy.
A serious investigation report found that C should have been classed as high risk and there should have been earlier intervention to prevent the baby's death. The cause of death was a placental abruption with a serious contributing factor being pre-eclampsia and hypertension.
The Hospital admitted responsibility for the avoidable stillbirth of C's daughter but disputed responsibility for C's psychiatric and physical injuries.
Within the settlement of £120K, the breakdown was for £45,000 General Damages (pain and suffering), with the rest relating to financial losses.
At Medical Solicitors, our compassionate approach puts you first, and we are able to work most of our cases on a conditional fee agreement (also known as no-win, no-fee). If you have suffered medical negligence or mistreatment that led to a stillbirth or neonatal death, please get in touch today to speak to one of our highly-qualified solicitors about bringing a birth injury claim.