31st January’20 – Our client, a 27 year old woman from Broadstairs, was under the care of the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust throughout her first pregnancy. Her antenatal care was provided by Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospital, Margate (QEQM) who informed her that she was carrying twins.
Our client underwent a caesarean section at 29+4 weeks on 14.11.2016 at William Harvey Hospital, Ashford resulting in the delivery of two identical twin girls.
Following the birth one of the twins experienced a period of respiratory distress, she was therefore intubated, transferred to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit but deemed to be stable at that point.
What followed then was a catalogue of errors which cost the new-born baby her life. Unfortunately, treating neonatologists failed to identify and treat the baby’s developing hypovolaemia/hypoperfusion. Crucially, our expert neonatologist identified that there were 9 missed opportunities over an 11 hour period when the condition could have been detected, escalated and treated thus saving her life.
Additionally, our expert found that there was a delay in recognising and treating the newborn’s tension pneumothorax which took 30 minutes in total when needle drainage should have been administered within a matter of minutes of the neonatologist’s review. During this period of delay our client’s baby suffered severe and protracted hypoxia-ischaemia from which she was unable to recover and passed away.
Over the course of our investigation into the case, it also became clear that the standard of clinical record keeping was extremely poor in this case with omissions pertaining to the timing of the administration of drugs and infusions, which is highly concerning.
The East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust are due to issue our client a formal apology and an out of court settlement has now been reached.
Francesca Beach, Assistant Solicitor at Fairweathers, who dealt with the case, commented:-
“It is deeply saddening that there were so many missed opportunities to save this baby’s life and that just 1 of those could have changed the outcome. I am pleased, however, that the Trust are acknowledging their failings in this case and can only hope policies and procedures will be put in place to save history repeating itself.
The loss of a child is the most tragic and profound experience imaginable and can never be rectified. I do hope, however, that this early full admission with apology can assist my client and her family in moving forward in trying to come to terms with these dreadful events.”