Heartbreak of baby loss for young mother after hospital delay

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Heartbreak of baby loss for young mother after hospital delay

5th April 2012

A young Kent woman who tragically lost her baby daughter after having to wait more than three hours before she was treated at her local hospital has received a significant out of court settlement.

Sharon Yap, a medical negligence expert with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said the woman, who was in her 20s at the time and had a history of pre-eclampsia, was 29 weeks pregnant when she started suffering from bleeding and stomach cramps.

“When my client began bleeding she called her community midwife who came round straight away and took her blood pressure,” said Sharon, a solicitor with the firm. “After measuring the baby’s heartbeat - which was recorded at 160 beats per minute - the midwife was concerned about how much blood my client had lost and recommended that she immediately go to her local hospital.

“The midwife assured her that she would ring ahead and inform the hospital that she was on her way, and my client felt confident in the care she would receive,” said Sharon. “However, when she arrived with her mother-in-law and handed over her medical notes - which specifically indicated she suffered with pre-eclampsia - the hospital claimed not to know anything about her admission and she was told to go and wait in the hospital waiting room.”

Sharon said that her client’s medical notes included her extensive history of troubled and traumatic pregnancies. “But despite this, she was not treated with any degree of concern,” said Sharon. “After having waited for over an hour, during which time she continued to bleed and her pain continued to build, she protested but was again told to wait her turn.”

When the young mother was finally seen more then three hours later, she was in significant pain, she had lost a great deal of blood and her baby’s heart rate had plummeted from 160 to just 74. After she was hooked up to a monitor, a senior midwife examined the woman and her baby’s heart rate and immediately announced a ‘code-red’ emergency indicating the baby had to be delivered within 30 minutes.

“When my client regained consciousness, she asked to see her daughter but was told by a nurse that her mother-in-law would be in to see her in a minute,” said Sharon. “When her mother-in-law joined her in the recovery room, she was told that her baby had sadly died, having only lived for 24 minutes.

“My client was a high-risk patient whose history of pre-eclampsia was clearly marked on the medical notes she handed over when she arrived in hospital that day,” said Sharon. “The hospital has apologised for the delay in getting my client seen and has admitted that their usual standards of care had not been fully met.

“It is incredibly sad that my client’s hospital failed in their duty of care to provide the proper maternity care and treatment that she was entitled to on the day her baby so tragically died,” added Sharon. “Although the hospital in question have apologised and admitted their failing, nothing can possibly remove the emotional pain and anguish my client will have to endure for the rest of her life.”

How can Fentons Solicitors help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims relating to medical negligence.

If you think that you have a case or require further information, contact Fentons on 0800 019 1297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire