1st April 2020 – Our client Mrs K, from the home – counties, gave birth to her second child in January 2016, 12 days past her due date. Her sole risk factor was retained placenta, which had occurred at the birth of her first child.
The midwife recorded placenta “apparently complete” in the notes but there had been problems with the birth. Mrs K remembered she being given two injections to help expel the placenta and the medics trying to remove the placenta by pulling on the umbilical cord.
Nevertheless, she was discharged from hospital 2 days later.
Just over 3 weeks later, on 10 th February, Mrs K developed lower back / abdominal pain and began to suffer heavy blood loss. She sat on the toilet and passed several large hand sized lumps. She was taken to hospital by ambulance and following tests, including an ultrasound scan, retained placenta was identified and Mrs K was put on the emergency list for Evacuation of Retained Products of Conception, (ERPC).
The procedure was successfully performed and Mrs K was later discharged home on 12 th February 2016 but the whole experience had been a terrible ordeal. The haemorrhage, emergency admission and emergency surgery were extremely distressing for her.
At home, Mrs K did not feel herself and struggled to talk about what happened. She became anxious and had endless thoughts about what might have happened. She was referred for counselling.
Mrs K instructed this firm to investigate bringing a claim against East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust. Psychological testing by our medico-legal Consultant Psychiatrist led to a diagnosis of Post – Traumatic Stress Disorder, (PTSD), of moderate severity. Mrs K also had symptoms of depression and anxiety.
We obtained all the necessary supportive expert evidence and sent a Letter of Claim alleging physical and psychiatric injuries caused by the negligence.
Unfortunately, the Defendant elected not to settle a perfectly good case and Court proceedings became necessary after the Defendant rejected a perfectly reasonable settlement offer.
Some 16 months later, the Defence unravelled and the Defendant was forced to accept Mrs K’s longstanding settlement offer.
Steve Evans the Solicitor with conduct of this case commented as follows:-
“We see a number of these types of cases and on the vast majority of occasions, the Defendant Trust has made unacceptable errors. Mrs K instinctively knew that the care provided was below an acceptable standard and sadly what should have been a joyful experience turned into a nightmare with far reaching consequences.
Hopefully Mrs K and her family now have closure and I wish them all the very best for the future”.