Our clients, a couple from Rochester, suffered the tragic loss of their daughter following a C-section in August 2010 as a result of the failures of the Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust during the course of the labour.
Our expert evidence concluded that the Defendant Trust had been negligent in failing to take the maternal pulse at more regular intervals during labour. Had that been done it would have been realised that the baby’s heart beat that they thought they were monitoring was in fact mum’s.. That would have led to correct monitoring at a time when the readings would have been of concern. That would, in turn, have resulted in a C-section being undertaken sooner than it was.
Had an earlier C-section been performed, it was likely that our clients’ daughter would have been born alive, and would have survived without significant handicap.
The Defendant accepted that the maternal pulse should have been taken more regularly, but not at the times we alleged. Further, and although they accepted that taking the maternal pulse would have established that the baby’s heart beat was not being monitored, they rejected our conclusion that an earlier C-section resulting in a live birth and long term survival would have been achieved.
Additionally, the mother also suffered a post-operative infection due to a swab being left inside her following her C-section. The Defendant admitted negligence in this regard, and specifically offered £7,500 relating to this issue.
In addition to that sum, we also sought compensation for the statutory bereavement award for the loss of their daughter, and a sum for each of the parents’ psychological injuries arising from that, as well as some minor financial losses.
The Defendant did not formally admit liability for the death of our clients’ daughter. However, following our detailed rebuttal letter and an offer to settle the whole of the claim, the claim was settled in the total sum of £62,000.
Alex Tengroth, who had conduct of the claim, commented:
“It is concerning that the Trust’s staff failed to follow the NICE guidelines for monitoring the maternal pulse. This is such a simple observation, but as this claim highlights, it is one which can be very important during labour.
This claim arose from tragic circumstances, which had a significant psychological impact on each of my clients, but I am very pleased that settlement of the claim means that my clients can now obtain the psychological treatment they require in order to assist their recovery.”