Dartford mother to receive £40,000 in damages for death of daughter shortly after birth

Our client, aged 22, came under the care of the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust towards the end of her pregnancy, and was admitted for observation.

A number of CTG recordings (which are used to monitor the heartbeat of the baby and to establish whether or not the baby is in any distress) were undertaken at various stages during her admission, but the significance of the findings was not appreciated by the obstetric doctors involved in her care and significant signs of the baby being in distress were missed.

When the significance of the CTG recordings was eventually realised, several hours after they should have been, our client was taken to theatre for an emergency caesarean section, but unfortunately this occurred too late and the baby was born in a very poor condition.

All appropriate treatment was given to the baby following birth, including transfer to the Medway Maritime Hospital for specialist care, but she could not be saved and life support was withdrawn five days later.

During the course of the investigation, comment was obtained from an expert obstetrician, who was severely critical of the standard of care provided to our client while she was under the care of the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust. That conclusion was echoed within the NHS Trust’s own complaint investigation conducted following this matter.

The Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust admitted liability for their failure to deliver our client’s baby several hours earlier, and also admitted that that failure had led to her death. An out of Court settlement was eventually reached in the total amount of £40,000.

Alex Tengroth, who dealt with the case, commented:-

“This was an extremely sad and unfortunate case of complications surrounding birth which could so easily have been averted had sufficient time and skill been used in interpreting the CTG recordings.

I am pleased that the NHS Trust accepted liability for the incident, and that settlement was achieved swiftly, following initial investigations. I hope that my client will, with the benefit of professional help, now be able to come to terms with this tragic loss.”