C had a high-risk pregnancy. She had had two previous caesarean sections, pregnancy induced hypertension, raised BMI and diabetes. Although it was flagged that she had a high-risk pregnancy and required consultant-led care, no obstetric plan of care was made; something that is usual practice with a high-risk pregnancy.
C reported suffering from extreme headaches at her midwife appointments but was advised that there was no need for concern.
At 28 weeks, C attended hospital as she was experiencing headaches, dizziness, vomiting and swelling of her hands and feet. Pre-eclamptic toxaemia was noted as well as protein in her urine. Due to her raised blood pressure, she was prescribed Labetalol. C had also noticed that her tummy was looking unusually large and she was booked in for a growth scan. Both of these were reported normal.
On 17th January, C became unwell and was vomiting. She called the hospital who told her that they were too busy to see her and to come in on the Monday when a Doctor would be available to see her.
On 19th January, C woke with abdominal pain similar to period pain. She called the emergency number given with her maternity notes but there was no answer. Hours later, C decided to go to hospital. Her pulse and blood pressure were taken which were raised. They attempted to do a CTG and ultrasound but were unable to find a fetal heart rate. They had to perform a class 1 emergency caesarean section at 29 weeks.
When Janaiya-Ruth was born, there was evidence of placental abruption taking place. Janaiya-Ruth was in poor condition at birth and was transferred to the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She was later diagnosed with severe hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy and seizures requiring phenobarbitone.
Janiaya-Ruth suffered from a number of complications and relied on gastronomy feeds and medication to control her seizures. However, she was a very determined little girl and overcame many obstacles. She also brought much enjoyment to her family and was doted upon by her two older sisters.
Sadly, Janaiya-Ruth passed away when she was only 21 months old.
How we helped
From reviewing all of the medical records, it was clear to us that there had been numerous points where a care plan should have been implemented. The hospital also missed opportunities to admit C and monitor her more carefully. There was also a delay in delivering Janaiya-Ruth. Had the failures not occurred then Janaiya-Ruth would have still been here today.
CL Medilaw assisted by sending an early Letter of Claim to the NHS Trust, alleging that their negligence caused Janiaya-Ruth’s brain injury, her subsequent death and C’s psychiatric injury. The NHS Trust initially denied liability.
We were not happy with their response and therefore obtained supportive expert evidence from a Midwife, Neuroradiologist, Neonatologist and Obstetrician who all confirmed that Janiaya-Ruth’s brain injury was caused by the alleged negligence. We therefore sent a supplementary Letter of Claim following a conference with Counsel and experts.
The NHS trust admitted liability and made a global six figure sum offer to settle the claims which was accepted by the family.
Although this sum will not make losing Janaiya-Ruth any easier for the family, pursuing the claim has provided her parents with the answers that they needed. More importantly, however, they have received formal recognition from the Defendant Trust that there were mistakes in their daughter’s care which could and should have been avoided.
We can provide a second opinion free of charge. We have acted for many clients who have been told they don’t have a case, but by looking at the claim in a different way and with our expertise, we have gone on to be successful.