2nd June 2021 – Our client, a 42-year-old woman from West Sussex, underwent an elective C-section delivery of her second child at Worthing Hospital in September 2018.Following the birth, she was transferred onto the Postnatal Ward to recover. In the early hours of the following morning, she collapsed and was transferred back to theatre urgently. There it emerged that a left uterine angle extension had been incompletely sutured during the C-section causing internal bleeding. The angle was sutured and blood clots evacuated.
Following the second surgery our client recovered slowly in Hospital separated from her new born baby and struggling with the amount of pain she was in. Once discharged, she was seen by both her GP and community midwives during her recovery and reported heavy bleeding, fatigue and abdominal pain.
Our client collapsed for a second time a month after her C-section and required hospital admission when it was found that she was suffering with retained products of conception. These were evacuated under general anaesthetic following which our client recovered well physically. However, she continued to suffer psychological injury as a result of both the first and second collapses.
Our client made a complaint to the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust about her experiences both in respect of the post-operative haemorrhage and subsequently diagnosed retained products. The Trust’s response did demonstrate some concerns regarding our client’s care but failed to admit liability for the injuries caused.
Expert obstetric evidence was therefore required which demonstrated that the surgeon’s failure to correctly suture the left uterine angle during the C-section was negligent.
A Letter of Claim was sent to the Defendant accordingly following which an offer of £22,500 was made in respect of injuries caused by the first collapse. The Defendant conducted their own investigations following which they admitted liability in full, provided a letter of apology to our client and made an offer of £15,000. Negotiations ensued and a settlement of £18,000 was agreed bringing the matter to a conclusion.
Francesca Beach, who had conduct of this case, said “Sadly, what should have been one of the happiest moments of my client’s life was marred by avoidable surgical negligence causing her not only physical and psychological injury but also taking her away from her new born child. I am glad the Defendant did not prolong this claim enabling us to bring it to successful conclusion swiftly and help my client to move on with her life.”
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