Ms G from London, 37 years old at the time of the incident, gave birth to her second child at the Royal Berkshire Hospital on 17 October 2009.
She returned home with her newborn baby but continued to bleed very heavily.
On 13 November 2009 she collapsed at home. Luckily, a health visitor happened to be present and called an ambulance, which took Ms G back to hospital.
Following investigations, it was found that a large piece of placenta had been retained, which had caused a post partum haemorrhage.
Ms G had to undergo an Evacuation of Retained Products of Conception (ERPC), a procedure under general anaesthetic to remove the retained placenta. The operation revealed the piece of retained placenta was 6 x 4 cm in size.
Post operatively Ms G required intravenous antibiotics and a blood transfusion. It was estimated that she lost 1.5 to 2 litres of blood.
She was discharged on 15 November 2009.
The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust admitted liability and the case was settled for £10,000.
Shantala Heath, Specialist Medical Negligence Solicitor, who had conduct of the case, commented:
“Following the third stage of labour, there is a duty on the midwife to check that the placenta is complete, healthy and that there are three vessels in the cord. Sometimes a small piece of placenta may be missing and retained in the uterus, which would not necessarily be picked up by the midwife, which is reasonable. However, if a large piece of placenta is missing, this would be obvious on inspection and should be picked up by the midwife and relevant action should be taken. When this is not the case, as in Ms G’s case, this can cause a haemorrhage, which can be very frightening and upsetting for a woman, especially when this leads to a collapse and an emergency procedure.”
Ms G commented:
“I would like to thank Shantala Heath for her professionalism, focus and expertise when it came to my case. She really did a wonderful job in securing a settlement, keeping me in the loop at every stage, and picking up and managing all elements of paperwork and red tape. This type of process for a non-legal person can seem daunting, but I was completely put at ease by Shantala which made it stress free for me.
Thank you so much for all the hard work!”